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Simon's Blog - It's All Gone Bananas

Photo: Mike Cuff

I don't know.You wait years for one to come along and then two turn up at once!

So there I was checking the emails in my meridianweather@itv.com inbox when Mike Cuff's strange tree in Locks Heath turned up.

Although on closer inspection things became stranger still.

Yes there really are bananas growing in Hampshire.

And in Kent too.

Jack Ferris sent in the photo of the bananas in Tony's garden in Cuxton.

So will they ripen and are they edible? Hopefully we'll get an update from both Tony and Mike soon.

Meanwhile, spurred on by these incredible growths, I hit the internet and here are some of the interesting things I've discovered about bananas.

The banana is not a tree but a herb that grows up to 15 metres high.

The word banana comes from the Arabic word "banan" which means finger.

Here in the UK we each eat around 10kg of bananas a year, which amounts to around a hundred each.

And finally the inside of a banana skin can be used to polish shoes and to calm an itchy mosquito bite.

Who knew they were so versatile!