Contemporary Gardens: Musa Basjoo Hardy Banana Plant

For ages now I’ve been wanting to write about contemporary style in the garden, but quite frankly the weather just hasn’t been getting me in the mood. Now we have had a little sunshine I’m feeling quite inspired and thought I’d put a few ideas together, particularly on the back of the Chelsea Flower Show.

I love architectural plants. They tend to look fierce and often intimidating. I like the hard edges and evergreen nature. Now, of course they’re not all that hardy so you do have to be quite picky, and I’ve had some disasters over the years. My biggest success I like to think, is my banana tree or Musa Basjoo, purchased from the Eden Project 7 years ago and still going strong. It was a tiny little plant then, and now stands over 10 feet tall in the summer. A couple of winters ago when we had those -20 degree temperatures I did think it had died, but lo and behold it sprang back to life. It’s not the plant it was a few years ago unfortunately but I think it’s pretty amazing to have survived those temperatures at all.

This is what it looks like at the moment following the winter and cold, damp spring.

Not too impressive is it?! Each year it appears to die back and I just let the dead leaves act as insulation. I am no gardener that’s for sure and much of what I do is just trial and error. My mum acts as my guide, putting me right when I go wrong and often having to salvage what I am killing! But the Hardy Banana doesn’t seem to worry too much and looks majestic and impressive when it’s enjoying the summer sun. Once the summer is well underway I pull back all the dead leaves to expose the new shoots. It grows quickly once the weather is warm and can dominate this part of the garden. Let’s just hope we get some sun this year!

If you would like one of these for your own garden then try www.crocus.co.uk. I have bought from this website before and the plants are great. A Musa Basjoo in a 2 litre pot is £19.99 currently.

What do you think? Could you grow a Hardy Banana plant do you think?

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