Shocked gardener finds bananas growing at his London home despite soggy summer

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A shocked gardener couldn't believe his eyes when he saw bananas growing at his home in Hackney, east London.

Ripon Ray, 42, told ITV News London the tree had been in his garden for the last decade but had never borne fruit.

Everything changed this year when the tree burst into life with an array of small bananas which he has yet to taste.

"Just three months ago there came a big surprise. There were bananas - when I first grew the tree it was tiny, but it has been around for ten years now.

"Until now it never produced any bananas - but now it is!"

Ripon Ray is a keen gardener and grows lots of fruit and veg in his garden Credit: ITV News

The sight of bananas is perhaps more of surprise given how wet the weather has been in London this summer.

Tourist attractions, coastal destinations and farmers wanting to bring in their harvests are facing a tough summer season as wet weather sweeps across the UK.

Last month was the UK’s sixth wettest July on record, with an average of 140.1mm of rain across the month.

Forecasters believe a change in the weather will not come until the second half of August.

But for Ripon 2023 has so far provided a bumper harvest, and not just bananas.

"There are grapes growing in my garden too!" he said.

"I realised the climate is changing and I’ve noticed with vines as time goes on every year it is getting bigger - but at the moment the grapes taste quite bitter.”

Ripon said he was also growing courgettes and two types of kale - including a darker variety often found in the Mediterranean.

Elsewhere, the National Farmers’ Union has warned its members could face “financial difficulty” if farmers are unable to bring in crops due to continued downpours.

Richard Heady, who runs a mixed arable farm in Buckinghamshire, said grains need to be harvested at about a 14% moisture level and up to an 18% moisture level if a farmer pays for drying.

However, Mr Heady estimated the moisture level on Wednesday was around the 30% mark.

He said: "The main problem is that the longer the grains are out there, the quality is decreasing the whole time so we grow a lot of milling wheat, which is hopefully going to go out to make bread."

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