Top tips for keeping that much loved Christmas plant alive. We've tested a plant sensor and mixed it up with some good old gardening knowledge...
A pineapple will make most situations better… except perhaps a suburban garden, where pineapple sage may be more appropriate.
Last year, I lived in the north of Ghana, where they speak Dagbani. It’s completely different to any other language that I’ve ever spoken, so it was quite difficult to learn, but we picked up a few phrases including all of the standard greetings. We quickly learnt that the answer to ‘how are you?’ was ‘alaafee’ – which meant ‘fine.’
Or so we thought – but then we were informed that the word alaafee also means ‘pineapple.’ So if you want to convey to someone that you and/or your family, weekend etc are fine, you need only say the word ‘pineapple.’
And to be fair, ‘pineapple’ seems as apt as any description to say that you’re having a good day. It’s sweet and it smells good. No matter what type of day you’re having, a pineapple is probably only going to make it more interesting.
But pineapples are cumbersome and growing them in the British climate is not going to be easy. So why not consider planting pineapple sage instead? It has aromatic leaves that smell really pineapple-y and are the perfect garnish to a cocktail or a dessert.
Even better, the plant looks great in your garden. It can grow up to five feet tall and its branched spikes grow slender, trumpet-shaped red blooms that will bring butterflies and hummingbirds to your garden. Grow it in a conservatory or greenhouse, or outside in humus-rich soil, sheltered from strong winds.
Interestingly, preliminary studies on mice suggest that the plant has anti-depressant and anti-anxiety properties – make yourself a herbal infusion and allow the alaafee (pineapple) sage to help restore your nerves; everything’s going to be alaafee (fine).