I've always been jealous of my family's tropical fruit trees. Mind you, they live in San Diego, so the climate is just a tad bit different than up here in Seattle.
I never thought I could grow lemons up here until I ran across an ad for a Meyer Lemon tree. I had been mulling over the idea of getting one for a year before I finally plunked down for one early this summer.
It's a little bitty guy and has about 6 or 7 lemons on it. When I bought the tree, the lemons were all green - in fact, everyone thought it was a lime tree and I found myself accidentally calling them limes, too. The color and look overwhelmingly made them look like limes. Well, in the last week or so, they've started turning yellow and some of them are close to being ready for harvest. They've also been sporting these neat little white and purple flowers for the last month or so.
Meyer lemons are thought to be a cross of lemons and sweet mandarin oranges, so they aren't as tart as your "classic" lemon and have a fragrant, edible skin. It is native to China and is commonly grown potted as an ornamental plant. The benefit to this is that, in colder climes, you can take it inside during the winter to protect it from low temperatures. So, even though it is cold tolerant, it needs to be inside during the winter to prevent damage.
If you are interested in growing your own Meyer lemon tree, but don't know what to do with them, then check out this list of "100 things to do with a Meyer lemon" from the L.A. Times. If you can't find a local nursery that carries these trees, you can readily find them from nurseries online. Meyer Lemon Cardamom Ice Cream anyone?
Now, if I can only figure out how to grow an avocado tree and I'll be set.