David Latimer from Cranleigh, Surrey, with his bottle garden that was first planted 53 years ago and has not been watered since 1972 – yet continues to thrive in its sealed environment
Truth be told, however, his bottle garden – now almost in its 53rd year – hasn’t taken up much of his time.
The bottle garden has created its own miniature ecosystem. Despite being cut off from the outside world, because it is still absorbing light it can photosynthesise, the process by which plants convert sunlight into the energy they need to grow.
This process is one reason why NASA was interested in taking plants into space.
The only input to this whole process has been solar energy, that’s the thing it has needed to keep it going. Everything else, every other thing in there has been recycled. That’s fantastic.’