Shooting star to make a rare appearance

PUBLISHED: 13:09 11 May 2006 | UPDATED: 10:09 06 May 2010

David Sutton

David Sutton

GARDENERS and anyone keen to view a rare botanical event should go along to Sandy on Sunday. David and Susan Sutton will be opening the half an acre garden of their home at 33 Bedford Road for anyone to see a rare plant in all its glory. The amazing plan

GARDENERS and anyone keen to view a rare botanical event should go along to Sandy on Sunday.

David and Susan Sutton will be opening the half an acre garden of their home at 33 Bedford Road for anyone to see a rare plant in all its glory.

The amazing plant is Phyllostachys Nigra, a striking black bamboo native of China, which has within its gene a time clock that sets every plant here and around the world exploding into flower at the same time.

The bamboo flowers for a period of about two weeks over a two to three year period before dropping its seeds.

The species can live for decades - even up to 100 years - before flowering. The plant uses up so much energy when flowering that in many cases they die.

But the Sutton family never realised such a rare event had arrived until they sat watching Gardener's World on TV last Friday.

They had noticed their plant had gone bushy but assumed it was a natural blooming. That was until programme presenter Monty Don talked about his black bamboo and the unusual flowering pattern.

Susan immediately went into their garden and sure enough her bamboo was just like Mr Don's, reaching its prime.

Now, the couple will give anyone who wants a peep at their bamboo the chance to visit their garden. They will also help raise money for two charities, The National Garden Scheme and the Sandy Leprosy Mission.

"Had we not been watching the programme we wouldn't have known what was happening to our bamboo," said Mrs Sutton, who was given the plant by a friend in Potton a few years ago.

"It is a beautiful plant and we are hoping the seeds that will be available on Sunday will germinate in other people's gardens and the species will carry on around here."

The beautiful garden of the Suttons' Victorian home will be open from 2pm to 5.30pm. Entry is £2.50 for adults and £1 for children.


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