Gardener surprised to discover section of rainforest in the UK

Chusan, cordyline and tree ferns were among the exotic plants discovered when a Cornwall gardener came across a previously unknown section of tropical rainforest on the land that he had tended for almost two decades.

Head gardener Darren Dickey was chopping into a patch of dense growth as he attempted to clear a hillside at Trebah Gardens.

While most tropical plants only grow under glass in greenhouses in the UK, Mr Dickey seemed more amazed that he had never come across the rainforest before.

"I was cutting back bushes when I saw the most amazing jungle scene," he said.

"Ive been head gardener here for 18 years and didnt know a thing about it.

"Its like something out of a childs fiction novel. Youre standing there and you could be in the middle of a Brazilian jungle."

It is thought that the plants found their way to Cornwall in the early 1900s when traveller Charles Fox returned to the UK with seeds from exotic locations.

Gardeners interested in growing tropical plants in the UK may wish to consider buying a greenhouse in which to let them flourish.