12:00PM, Friday 15 June 2018
A keen gardener has grown his ‘crowning glory’ after successfully growing a pineapple in his kitchen and defying experts.
Ming Lui and his wife Alison have spent the past four years growing a pineapple, which are incredibly difficult to grow in the UK.
To celebrate, Ming and the rest of his family will have a party this weekend where they will finally eat the fruit.
Ming said: “I am very pleased, this is my crowning glory of my gardening career. I have grown lots of difficult plants but this was the most difficult.”
To grow a pineapple, the top must be removed from another pineapple, buried in a pot and nurtured.
According to his wife Alison, Ming went to great lengths, including talking to the plant, to ensure it grew successfully.
The pair, from Amerden Close, kept the pineapple in a pot by their glass back doors and ensured it was facing south.
Ming said: “It smells lovely, it is like being back home in Hong Kong. There they just grow them on hillsides where it isn’t suitable to grow anything else.”
The achievement took a spokeswoman from the horticultural department at the Berkshire College of Agriculture by surprise, who said it was ‘impossible’ to grow a pineapple in a kitchen in the UK.
Historically, pineapples are closely linked to the area, with the first pineapple ever grown in the UK cultivated in nearby Dorney, less than three miles down the road.
Grown in Dorney Court, it was presented to King Charles II in 1661. The nearby Pineapple Pub is named after it.
Notoriously difficult to grow in the UK due to the hot climate required, others who have achieved the feat have made it into the national press.
In 2015, the Mirror reported on one grandmother who grew a pineapple on her windowsill.
Kath Paciuszko, from Cornwall, spent six years growing the plant, and shared it among her grandchildren.
Have you been able to grow any exotic fruit or veg against the odds in the area? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
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