A rare sight blossoming in a Midhurst garden

Steve Skeates and his flowering 'palm'  Photo by Derek Martin
Steve Skeates and his flowering 'palm' Photo by Derek Martin

When Steve Skeates was watering his palm tree at his Heathfield Gardens home in Midhurst he noticed something odd about it and looking it up online he realised it was about to flower.

“I was amazed. I’m a keen gardener but I didn’t even know they flowered.

“We bought it four years ago as a reminder of our favourite holiday spot in Tenerife.

“It was 18 inches high and it is now over six feet and has these amazing flowers. I am really chuffed, it’s my pride and joy.”

Gardening expert, John Humphris who lives in Easebourne and is holder of the RHS Victoria Medal and president of the Professional Gardeners Guild said: “This is unusual to say the very least. “It’s rare for a palm tree to flower outside in the garden in the British Isles, even in the south. People do plant them but very often they just survive and don’t flourish - and there is a subtle difference between the two. Steve must have a little micro climate going on. He is a very lucky man.”