They're exotic and notoriously temperamental, but cafe owner Judy Farrell has managed to grow kiwi fruit in her back garden.

Some see her success as a sure sign that the planet is warming up.

Judy, owner of the Dumb Waiter cafe in Sydney Street, Brighton, and son Tony planted their climber six years ago and have been waiting for it to bear fruit ever since.

This year, their patience was rewarded with a bumper crop of the startling green fruit.

Judy said: "I'd like to say we'd lavished lots of attention on it but we haven't really. Tony is the green-fingered one but he just put it in and left it. We've been waiting hopefully ever since."

Two years ago the plant burst into attractive white flowers, similar to those of the mock orange. Then, in October this year, Judy noticed little fruits appearing.

She said: "It was such a surprise to see them. We've had 40 or 50 now. They're a lovely colour and taste sweet and delicious."

Kiwi fruit - actinidia deliciosa - were a delicacy in ancient China and introduced to New Zealand in 1906, where they became known as the Chinese gooseberry.

As foreign demand grew, the New Zealanders renamed it after their national bird.

Gardening writer David Hessayon, author of the Expert series of books, said it was possible to grow kiwi in some parts of southern England but they were difficult and demanding.

Earlier this year, a householder in Canterbury Road, Worthing, was astonished to find lemons growing from a tree in his front garden.

Wild grapes were also found in an alleyway near the border of Goring and Ferring.

And divers in the Channel have spotted triggerfish, normally found in much warmer waters, about three miles offshore.