Following on from our Echium discovery (Surprising Survivors Part 12) we’ve had another lovely surprise in the garden- the discovery of a little colony of banana plants. Three years ago we had two mature banana plants (Musa Basjoo) growing in a corner of the Palm Thicket. To everyone’s surprise, in our last decent summer, which was 2008, they produced fruit. They’re not supposed to fruit outdoors in this country. Bananas are monocarpic, which means that they die when they have flowered, which these duly did. They wouldn’t have survived the awful cold of the subsequent two winters anyway. The place where they had been growing became over-run with Macleyas, an attractive 7ft plant which soon swamps any available space. I’d completely forgotten about the bananas until we came to clear away some of the Macleyas,in preparation for our Open Day. And there we found a family of 8 small banana plants, which had grown from the roots of the mother plant. I can hardly believe it, and I’m looking forward to another crop of bananas if we ever get a decent summer again.