Photo gallery: Celebrity expert Alan Titchmarsh has fun in the jungle filming Suffolk’s secret exotic garden
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2015
Hidden behind a 400-year-old cottage in a small Suffolk village, an exotic jungle of palms, bamboos and secret pathways transports you into a magical Jurassic Park world.
Over the last 12 years Henstead Exotic Garden, near Beccles, has grown into a two-acre fully landscaped jungle, designed and looked after by Andrew Brogan, 53, who moved to the area from London.
Over the years the garden has attracted lots of media attention and has now caught the eye of gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh, who spent a day filming for his television show Britain's Best Back Gardens.
Mr Brogan said: 'They filmed his first reaction to the garden which was nice to see. But it was a bit weird seeing Alan Titchmarsh standing on my lawn! He was impressed with my 30ft tall bamboo which have got unusually big canes and are quite rare in Britain.
'When he finished I asked him to sign my visitors book. I didn't really think about what he thought of it, I was just happy to have him here. But he said it was one of the most magnificent gardens he had ever been too.'
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The programme was launched to celebrate Titchmarsh's 50 years as a gardener, and features the top 30 back gardens across the country, chosen from 600 nominations. Henstead Exotic Garden will feature on January 20 on ITV at 8pm,
The garden, which started as an abandoned nettle-strewn site, includes trachycarpus from the Himalayas, tree ferns from New Zealand, 50 types of bamboo and 100 large palms.
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Mr Brogan said: 'This garden is rare in Britain, but if you found one you would expect it in the west country where it is much wetter.
'The first five years we had were quite mild winters, so I think the plants sorted themselves out and each year they got more hardened to it. We had two months without rain this summer and I don't know how the plants survived. I think they have just adjusted to it.'
Mr Brogan will start to tidy the garden in March and open to visitors from May to October.
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