All we need now is some tropical-style weather

SOUTHSEA GREEN: With Irene Strange

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Liz Bourne and her family have transformed their small Southsea back garden into a grow-your-own plot

Although May has now arrived, I haven’t yet felt that inspired to don my waders, extra-efficient waterproofs and emergency whistle to trek out into the wilderness that is my back garden.

Whilst my seedlings lean hopefully towards the rain-splattered window, urging me to, quite literally, take the plunge, I shuffle anxiously in my slippers and put the kettle on for another brew.

On the plus side, the seeds that young Katie and I planted a couple of weeks back have started to emerge, much to her delight.

I felt quite elated when I caught her proudly showing her friend the tips of the sweet pea plants that are starting to poke through the soil, and the forest of mustard and cress that is vigorously growing in half an egg shell.

The interaction led on to Katie asking her friend what she was growing and it was thrilling to think that at nine years old they could be so animated whilst discussing the relative merits of growing parsley over rosemary!

In a momentary flurry of enthusiasm, I suggested we try to grow a pineapple - what was I thinking!

We bought a pineapple and twisted and pulled the top, separating the main fruit from the leafy part.

After cleaning any fruit off and cutting some of the lower leaves back, we were left with a leafy stump.

We dried it out for a couple of days, then popped it into water for the roots to start sprouting. All we need now is some tropical weather.