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‘It might eat the postman’ - Landmark tropical plant moved to new home

PUBLISHED: 14:24 24 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:17 24 August 2020

A tropical plant has been moved from its old home on High Road in Gorleston to Ashley Ray Clarke's garden in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Karen Jane Halliday and Ashley Ray Clarke.

A tropical plant has been moved from its old home on High Road in Gorleston to Ashley Ray Clarke's garden in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Karen Jane Halliday and Ashley Ray Clarke.

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A tropical plant that became a landmark loved by passers-by and bus passengers has been moved to a new home after growing too big, and too spiky, for a front garden.

An agave americana plant before it was moved from its previous home on High Road in Gorleston. Picture: Karen Jane Halliday.An agave americana plant before it was moved from its previous home on High Road in Gorleston. Picture: Karen Jane Halliday.

The agave americana, native to Mexico and the southern USA, was planted about ten years ago outside a house on High Road in Gorleston, on the main bus route from Great Yarmouth.

But last week Karen Jane Halliday, who had inherited the plant after moving to the house seven years ago, said it would be moving to a new home.

“Sorry to say but our big spiky plant has got too big for the garden and we are worried that it might eat the postman,” she announced on social media.

On Saturday (August 22), Lowestoft man Ashley Ray Clarke, 29, an exotic plant enthusiast, dug up the agave before taking it away.

Ashley Ray Clarke, 29, from Lowestoft, with the agave americana he helped move from Gorleston to his home in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Ashley Ray Clarke.Ashley Ray Clarke, 29, from Lowestoft, with the agave americana he helped move from Gorleston to his home in Lowestoft. Picture: Courtesy of Ashley Ray Clarke.

Ms Halliday said people used to knock on her front door and ask to take pictures of the plant but it had grown “intensely” over the last four or five years and was now approximately eight feet tall, with long spikes, and “quite vicious”.

“My husband tried to keep it under control by cutting bits off. He has bled several times from getting caught on it.

“It’s sad because it is a lovely thing to look at,” she said.

Mr Clarke, 29, who has loved gardening since he was a boy, said: “I’ve been aware of the agave for a few years, I would pass it every morning.

“One day I noticed them cutting it back. I thought it would be a shame if it was chopped down, so I knocked on the door one day, asking if it could go to a new home.

“They were happy to go ahead with it. They probably thought it was a bit random,” he said.

More than a hundred people have commented on social media about the plant’s migration from High Road.

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One woman said: “It gives me a smile each time I go past. It’s quite the iconic landmark around here.”

“I’m so sad to see it go. It’s one of the only joyful things about the bus ride to Yarmouth,” said another.

Another passenger said: “I love seeing this going past on bus, will be sadly missed.”

One comment wished the plant “a long and fruitful life in Lowestoft”.


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