On a quick gallop around the Royal Horticultural Society’s garden at Wisley, in Surrey south of London, last week I came across what from a distance looked like a rather old-fashioned artistic installation. But no, it’s the bananas in their winter livery (click the images to enlarge).
Growing bananas outside in Britain (zone 8) is a dicey business – so often the winters are just too cold. So the banana plants in the subtropical borders, across the lawn from the restaurant, are wrapped in fleece and hessian (burlap to Americans) to protect them.
You can tell from the way that the stalagmites are grouped that young plants springing from suckers are being protected alongside larger specimens so the technique must have worked in the past.
We all like to try to keep plants that are borderline hardy through the winter: well, this is how it’s done.