Monday, May 21, 2012

To Banana or Not to Banana, That is the Question?

My flowerbeds are decidedly English cottage in style.  Although it was more a coincidence than anything.   I have way too much lawn and the property is surrounded by a cedar fence. There was no way I was going to weed-wack around all that fencing. I'm a klutz and basically inept with machines, especially the weed-whacker, so I avoid that at all costs. I tried to make beds with lawn edging that were easy to mow around and edge with the electric edger.  

A lot of the beds are a mixture of evergreen plants for winter interest and then all the perennials that disappear into the ground come winter and reemerge in the spring. My garden in January is very different than August.  In January, I see a lot of bark mulch and in August it looks like a jungle.

In selecting plants, apart from general plant lust, I do like to consider placement and what the plant will look like year round.  My plant lust collided with my desire to have a plant that looks nice most of the year.

Rare Plant Research

I have always wanted a Banana tree, but personally I feel like they don't really look good for 9-ish months out of the year.  I am not one for bringing in plants into the house (the Nelumbo 'Roseum Plenum' my mother gave me for my 40th and a a handful of Agaves are the exceptions ), so any banana in my yard would have to be hardy.

Musa sikkimensis 'Red Tiger'

At the Rare Plants Research Sale this past weekend, they had several hardy and not quite so hardy for Portland bananas for sale.  After a lot of perusing plants and reading tags - I decided upon this Musa which is hardy to Zone 7.  The downside seems to be that the red markings go away as the leaves mature.

Now I just have to figure out where to put it! 

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