Guess what has been growing in this Norfolk garden

John Brooks with his banana plant in his garden in Bacton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY John Brooks with his banana plant in his garden in Bacton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
9:32 AM

Scorching summer sunshine has brought a touch of the tropics to the county in recent weeks – and now nature seems to have gone totally bananas in one north Norfolk back garden.

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John Brooks' banana plant in his garden in Bacton.
Picture: ANTONY KELLYJohn Brooks' banana plant in his garden in Bacton. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

As the weather warmed, John Brooks, from Bacton, noticed a pod, containing bananas, sprout from a banana plant outdoors in his garden.

The plant itself is about 8ft tall and has been growing outdoors for the past three years but this is the first time it has produced fruit. The bananas, which number about 20, are two inches long.

Mr Brooks, 62, says he is not a keen gardener but seems to have a green-fingered touch.

He said: “I just seem to plant things and they grow. It seems to be the luck of the draw.”

In the past he has managed to grow bananas indoors, from plants in his sunroom, which his children took for their packed lunches. He has also grown pineapples in the sunroom, and has grapes outside in his garden.

He said he was not sure, until the bananas on the outdoor plant ripened fully, whether they would be edible.

A spokesman for the Royal Horticultural Society said: “It’s not unheard of for bananas to crop in the UK but not common either and the bananas will usually be rather small.

“It usually happens in years where there has been an early start to the growing season and a warm summer.”

In 2007 Sellamuttu Krishnasamy, from Maidenhead, managed to produce fruit from a group of banana trees he had planted, and in the same year Olwyn Asher, from Essex, grew a pineapple in her garden which had come from the discarded crown of a supermarket-bought fruit.

A year later in 2008, Mike Hillard, from Gloucester, managed to grow bananas inside his hi-tech solar room, which stays between 10C and 16C above outside temperature all year, and Graham and Daphne Bath, from Hampshire, revealed that a banana tree they had been growing in their garden for the past nine years had borne fruit for the first time.

Have you ever grown an unusual fruit? Write to: Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk

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