SUC­CESS­FUL CROP FOR BANANA­MAN

Warm weather leads to rare sprout­ing of fruit

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

KEEP your eyes peeled and you might spot an un­usual crop in Hayes.

The re­cent spell of warm weather has caused no less than a banana plant to sprout out­side keen gar­dener David Ben­nett’s home in Glamis Cres­cent.

The plant has de­liv­ered a ‘hand of bananas’ for the first time this year, much to the sur­prise of Mr Ben­nett.

He said: “I’ve grown banana plants, Musa basjoo, one of the hardier ones we can grow in this coun­try, for about 12 years in my back gar­den. I’ve man­aged to get it to flower once be­fore, but I’ve never ever had fruit on it.

“Be­cause we’ve had a mild win­ter, the flower bud came up quite early and now I’ve got a hand of bananas.”

The 68-year-old, who worked as head gar­dener for the Lon­don Bor­ough of Hilling­don and in the Nor­man Leddy Me­mo­rial gar­dens for nearly 50 years, keeps up the hobby now he is re­tired.

He said: “I spe­cialise in Be­go­nias but my gar­den’s full of all sorts. I al­ways try and grow dif­fer­ent things, I’ve got trop­i­cal palm, the seeds are get­ting quite big now.”

Mr Ben­nett hopes to keep spot­ting banana plants in the bor­ough.

He added: “It cer­tainly was a de­light when I saw the fruit. I’d be in­ter­ested to know if any­one else in Hayes had bananas fruited this year.

“I’ve seen gar­den plants in peo­ple’s gar­dens as you go around but it is so rare for one to ac­tu­ally fruit.”

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