Shropshire Star

Video: See the unique reason that causes people stop in this pensioner's garden every year

A Shropshire pensioner has said people have been stopping in his garden to admire the flowering Monkey Puzzle tree that was planted by his mum nearly 50 years ago.


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The towering Araucaria araucana, commonly called the monkey puzzle tree, was bought as a sapling from Woolworths in Wellington in the 1970s by Don's mother, who paid just 7/6d.

It was planted in the family's front garden in their family home in Homer, Much Wenlock.

More than 40 years on and the tree, which is native to the Andes in South America, stands nearly 30 metres tall.

Don's monkey puzzle tree from above

And once a year for three weeks, Don, says he gets to enjoy the tree as it blossoms.

The monkey puzzle tree in Don's front garden in Homer, Much Wenlock
The tree only flowers every three weeks

“It it is only good for three weeks then we lose it all,” he said, adding that people often stop to admire the unusual evergreen.

Don Smith and his towering monkey puzzle tree in his front garden in Homer, Much Wenlock

"The property was built in 1962 by my parents and my mum bought the tree in the 1970s from Woolworths in Wellington and paid 7/6 for it. It's now 25-30 metres," added Don.