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A touch of Burma in Lowestoft

PUBLISHED: 13:29 21 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:38 06 July 2010

KEVIN and Linda Parker who have created a tropical garden in Oulton Broad full of exotic plants and bananas.

KEVIN and Linda Parker who have created a tropical garden in Oulton Broad full of exotic plants and bananas.

WITH palm trees, bananas, bamboo and echiums you could be forgiven for thinking you were taking a walk around a tropical paradise.

But thanks to years of dedication and careful cultivation, a green-fingered couple have created a Mediterranean-style garden at their own home in Oulton Broad.

WITH palm trees, bananas, bamboo and echiums you could be forgiven for thinking you were taking a walk around a tropical paradise.

But thanks to years of dedication and careful cultivation, a green-fingered couple have created a Mediterranean-style garden at their own home in Oulton Broad.

When Kevin and Linda Parker moved into their house, in Pegasus Mews, 20 years ago, they inherited a lawn and three trees. Now their garden is totally unrecognisable after they transformed it into their own little paradise.

“We brought with us two little palms from our other house. They were 1ft high when we bought the house, now they're nearly 12ft,” said Kevin, 50.

“We wanted to create something different. At the time tropical gardens were very rare and it was hard to get hold of plants. We picked some up from London nurseries and when on holidays, and it gradually evolved from that.”

In 2005 the pair were awarded the best front garden award by Lowestoft in Bloom, but today it is better than ever with plants flowering all year round and friends contributing to their huge variety of plants.

“If people travel and see something unusual they try and buy a packet of seeds for us to grow,” said Linda, 50.

The couple spend hours each week on their pride and joy, developing a garden that acts as somewhere for them to unwind after a busy day.

Kevin, who works as a signalman for Network Rail, and Linda, who works for Westgate department store, admit that when they started they knew nothing about plants, but have proven to be quite the naturals at gardening.

“When you work indoors, we love to come home and get into the garden. But it's not just our pleasure, it's everyone else's. People often come and ask to look around, and one neighbour says it reminds him of Burma,” said Kevin.

The couple also often sell their home-grown tropical plants to help raise money for Leukaemia Research.

“What we want to know though, is does anyone have a garden to match it? Are we the most easterly point for a tropical garden?” said Linda.

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