Thursday, 29 March 2012

Death of the Carol Klein banana and Venetian wonder

It (sniff) is (sob) with a heavy heart (boo hoo) that I report the probable death of the Carol Klein banana tree.  I had been thinking of doing some video footage to film the official unwrapping, however on investigation the stem was soft, and very dead feeling, proven after an emergency unwrapping of its protective winter fleece.
This was of course the banana tree made famous on Gardeners World that we dug up, re-potted, fleeced and tied up for film on 7th October last year. The tree was then joined by its other Musa Sikkimensis friends in late November (see post here) and left over winter in our side passage. There was some HTUK concerns that this would create too damp and cold an atmosphere, but it gets ambient heat from the house and is well ventilated.
Ironically, every single other banana tree is alive and well...just Carol and my special tree has gone (sob again). I think on reflection it was just taken up too early as it was a month and a half before the others joined it and I think it has just dried out too much. However I hope it will regrow from the roots.
Anyway, the good news is that with all the hot weather all the living bananas are coming back into growth and I have decided to unwrap them all, even the Basjoo in the garden.  Everything is bursting back into life including the weeds and seeds of good things like Canary Creepers and nasturtiums.

Clematis filling the air with its heady scent, and a bedraggled M. Basjoo coming back to life. Whent he leaves are off the tree I feel a little awkward about how much the clematis has invaded next door. However what is to stop beauty?
I think it has actually been too hot as the greenhouse is still super insulated and yesterday with the hottest day so far my new Schleffera and Fatsia leaves got a bit fried. Seedlings are growing fast and I’m having to start water things in pots to prevent them drying out. The hosepipe ban is a worry as with so many new plants and things to go in they will need watering to prevent death.

We have actually been away for the last week or so in Munich, Austria and Venice. It was quite eye opening in Austria seeing somewhere so cold and snowy where every plant I saw seemed to be hanging on and on the edge of death from having the soil so frozen. They also all tended to tie up their plants to prevent the weight of the snow breaking branches.
I liked Venice and wanted to share some planty pictures (swanning around looking at pretty things, getting lost and drinking Spritz is my kind of break). It was great to see how even with no space people grew plants, and I loved the Eden like image that the walled gardens gave brimming over with plants.

Lots to do, however I’m looking forward to a hard core couple of weeks and Easter break of getting everything in.  We have even found somewhere in Lincolnshire to get bees from (Lincolnshire stuff gets everywhere), and they will arrive over Easter (hopefully not delivered in a giant egg by the Easter bunny).


  1. Looks like the banana succumbed to the pressures of fame :) But it's a toughie so should come back from the ground given TLC and patience.

    Great to see more progress in your garden. And I love Venice, such a stunning place! If you get the chance do post more photos of this stunning city, might just sway me to come back as haven't been for ten years now.

    1. Indeed, fame is a fickle game and we can easily wilt in the limelight!

      it does have a shoot at the bottom, but it wont be the same as it isnt the tree that Carol and I grappled with and enjoyed a 'bit of bondage in the garden' with........

      Venice is fab, which reminds me I need another Spritz....