Not knowing when the first frosts are due the removal of the giant tender banana plants back in to the greenhouse is all about who breaks first, the gardeners or the weather. The longer the plants are left outside the greater the risk of an unforeseen frost and its damage to these giants so today the decision was made to dig them up and take them back to the warm greenhouse environment, the gardeners broke first!
|Ali And The Smallest Banana|
The team need to dig out four banana plants starting with the smallest and working their way up to the giant, bigger in every way, weight, height and girth.
|A Giant On Display In The Gardens|
Digging a trench around the banana the team expose the root ball then carefully dig beneath it until it becomes free from the soil. Placing their spades to one side they lift the huge banana out of the hole and carry it out of the border to the trailer for its transportation to the greenhouse.
|Here It Comes|
|The Carriage Awaits|
|Back In The Greenhouse|
Taken over to the greenhouse the banana plant is carried inside and planted in to a large plant pot slightly larger than the root ball.
|The Biggest Banana|
Returning to the border they start to dig out the next banana plant. Planted out in the gardens on the 1st June, see blog entry 'How Many Gardeners Does It Take To.....?' the biggest banana plant has got even bigger. With the soil removed from around the root ball it soon becomes abvious that this one is far to big to be lifted out by man alone, help is needed by machine in the form of the grab attachment on the New Holland tractor.
|Root Ball Loosened|
|A Tractor Is Required|
Manoeuvring the tractor in to the border the grab is carefully lowered until the large stem of the banana plant sits within the the top set of tines and the bottom set are beneath the root ball. Slowly the giant plant is lifted out of the soil and, reversing the tractor, is removed from the border. Before transporting it back to the greenhouse the stability of precious cargo is checked then its journey begins. Once at the greenhouse it is found to be too big to get inside so the top is removed then taken inside to be potted up, within a few hours it has already grown an inch! These plants will remain in the warm greenhouse until next June when they will make the return journey back to the border for next summer's display.
|Driving Back To The Greenhouse|
|Within Hours It Has Grown An Inch|
|An Empty Space Where The Giant Once Stood|
|Something Is Missing|