A FLAVOUR of the Mediterranean has come to Somerset recently in the shape of a large, mature olive tree that is believed to be more than 100-years-old. Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre near Taunton shipped the tree from its grower in Italy and it is worth nearly ?2,000.
Norma Moore, General Manager of the award-winning, independent, family-run garden centre at Monkton Heathfield, said: ?Our large olive tree started life in an olive grove in the Mediterranean. We decided to order it in as we have seen a sharp increase in interest in plants from the Mediterranean during the past few years, particularly olive trees.
?We think it is down to the fact that people are really getting into outdoor living and making the garden an extension of their homes. We have a number of different olive trees of all shapes and sizes in stock at the moment, which are perfect for bringing that little bit of the Med to any British garden.?
Olive trees like a well-drained gritty soil and the smaller varieties can be grown in pots, as well as in the ground. They like sheltered warm areas and may need to be protected from cold weather during the winter months.
Norma continued: ?Our climate in Britain is changing year-on-year and we are becoming a much warmer country with Mediterranean undertones, providing more and more opportunities to spend time in the garden.
?Due to current economic climate, people don?t seem to be taking as many trips out to Spain, Greece and the rest of the Med either, so they are looking to recreate that feeling of being on holiday, while at home.
?The olive tree is a Mediterranean symbol of hope, glory and peace that is recognised throughout the world, it was even used as the ?eternal flame? at the very first Olympic Games in Greece, making it a must have for any Mediterranean garden.
?The horticultural team at the garden centre can offer full and comprehensive advice on all aspects of olive care.?
The olive tree is believed to be more than 100-years-old and is priced at ?1,999.
Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre was awarded the Albert Goodman Family Business Award at the Somerset Business Awards in 2012.
For further details about the tree, please call Monkton Elm Garden & Pet Centre, which is located just off the A38 at Monkton Heathfield between Bridgwater and Taunton in Somerset, on 01823 412381.