WITH the current icy weather and cold days, it’s safe to say we’re a far cry from sunny Florida.
But that hasn’t stopped one woman from having an impressive crop of oranges – in her back garden in Portsmouth.
Emi White, of Copnor Road, Copnor, said: ‘I’ve had the tree about 12 years and it’s always had a good amount of oranges on it.
‘But this year it’s been exceptionally good, especially considering we’ve suddenly gone into colder weather.
‘To grow oranges in the UK is unusual – it’s quite rare so I thought I would share it with others to put a smile on their faces.’
And Mrs White said her neighbours and friends always remark on the tree.
She added: ‘I took a photo of myself with the tree and put it on Facebook, and people just say “what, in Hampshire?”.
‘My neighbour said to me that when she looks out her window she can’t believe she’s looking at an orange tree, with actual oranges on it.
‘I’ve spoken about it to lots of my friends and I’m not sure they believe me.’
The 71-year-old is retired now but used to own plant firm Typically Tropical and has expertise in looking after all things green.
But she admits there’s not much to keeping her tree full of juicy oranges.
She said: ‘It doesn’t require any special care – it just blooms.
‘I do look after it by watering it and doing little things like taking off snails and trimming it slightly – it’s my pride and joy.
‘But the worst thing that gets it is the bugs.
‘You can’t use bug spray because it goes into the fruit.’
The News’ gardening expert Brian Kidd congratulated Mrs White.
He said: ‘Not many people have such a magnificent specimen and I’m sure Mrs White is very proud of it.
‘She seems to have all the right techniques because it’s thriving, so I’d like to give her my heartiest congratulations.
‘Orange trees are fairly hardy, but in the present cold spell the flowers could be damaged.
‘The way forward would be to bring it as close to her house as possible, in the warmest situation she can find.’