Sunday, October 14, 2007

Found a Home for the Millstone Like Stones

Re-working the vegetable garden enabled me to find a home for the round stones similar to millstones. In the middle of my garden is a huge banana. Yes, I said banana. Unknown to many people there is a hardy banana we here in middle-Tennessee can easily grow. It is Musa bajoo. I bought mine at the University of Tennessee Summer Celebration in Jackson last summer. But just this summer I saw some Musa bajoos for sale at Rural King during their big summer sale, so you can find it locally as well. Despite the late frost of this April, this banana has grown and thrived. I now have five little banana trees growing around the initial planting. The tree is over 10 feet tall and still putting out new leaves! Needless to say it is a focal point in my vegetable garden. I had to plant it in the vegetable garden because the vegetable garden gets the most sun and I knew it would grow best with sun. Since I moved the vegetable garden over and since this plant is so large I wanted to make it the focal point and center of the garden. I placed the millstones around the bananas creating a seven foot raised bed circle to hopefully control the bananas. I was amazed that six feet away from the bananas I was digging into banana roots. These bananas are quite hardy and vigorous! There will be a garden bed both to the left and right of the banana circle, and three more raised beds to the south of the bananas. The bananas will shade the vegetables somewhat during the summer which is OK with me. During the very hot and bright days of summer I think vegetables can stand some shade-I know the gardener wants shade when she is picking vegetables.

The beds will eventually be enclosed with pressure treated lumber and the pathways between the six beds will be bricked in with old bricks. The garden will be very formal and user friendly. I have made the pathways much larger in this new and improved garden than in the old vegetable garden. We found the vegetables tend to take over the pathways and surrounding areas if left alone. While the effect was lush and full, I did not like having to step over pumpkin vines and dodging errant flower blooms. I will keep you posted on the progress.

in the garden....


  1. The Millstones look great! I would like to know what is under the car cover also. The Saint and I are car enthusiasts also...

    I have been waiting to see if you would talk about banana trees! You have a beautiful one! My brother gave the Saint a baby sprout from his two years ago when we were in Clarksville. He removes his and stores it inside for the winter. He also gave one to my parents and they potted it and put theirs in the garage for the winter. I had never noticed them until we got ours. Now I see them all over our area here in Georgia! I made the Saint turn the car around one day as I spotted some so tall they were coming up over the top of a house. They were in the backyard and the only view of them was their tops over the roof! They were that tall...

    We planted the one we have in a pot and had it inside for the winter in the Sun room. That thing was growing so fast. It was tough keeping the cats out of the dirt as they love to get into my house plants. That is why I don’t have many. We babied the banana for a year inside and decided to plant it in the yard this summer. It was growing so well in the spot the Saint chose. Then one weekend we went to visit our friends in Atlanta and we returned to a shredded banana tree! The Saint was blaming the raccoons but I blame the squirrels as they love to play in that area chasing each other. I have seen them use trees as their kick off towers as if a child playing in a playground on a jungle gym! Can’t blame the squirrels because we put the plant in their playground area. I will send you pictures so you can see the damage. We had one lone leaf remaining from, I recall being 7 beautiful leaves!

    We moved the pitiful looking thing into the flower garden in front of a section of white picket fence that hides our ugly propane gas tank. So far it has 4 healthy leaves. We are debating leaving it out but I am tired of fighting the cats with the dirt in the house so I think it will remain where it is for the winter. Since noticing them all over town, I see they leave them out and they die down in the winter but come back in full swing after winter. Some people cut them at the base like an elephant ear and some just leave them and they return out the top of the stalk looking like palm trees!

    Oh my mom and dad lost theirs to a hailstorm this past spring. Remember that nasty storm? It is making a comeback also but don’t know how many leaves it has. I will see for myself this weekend when we get up there for the Humane Society Fur Ball…

    I assume these banana trees do not produce fruit…???....

  2. I am glad to see others are growing bananas (Going bananas?) I really love mine. Driving to southwest Tennessee I discovered a gasoline station which has a whole plantation of bananas. It was neat to see something different and quite the eyecatcher. Yours will recover and leave it outside-I bet it will come back no problem and if it doesn't I have plenty. I have heard some mature banana stands can produce fruit or at least flower. I am not counting on it and the foliage is good enough for me. I am debating whether I should plant some by my pool to give that tropical feel.

  3. I think the Banana tree and the Elephant ears have a wonderful Tropical look!