Banana-tree reality bigger than gardener’s dreams

I woke up last Sunday with a monstrous beast in my living room. It was our own doing, of course. The husband and I were lured in and took the bait of the $3-off coupon to attend the Indiana Flower and Patio Show.

I’m sure some of you have made the same mistake. Maybe you were having a big party, and after you bought all the food supplies, you realized your refrigerator wasn’t quite big enough.

Or maybe you bought a pair of shoes or clothes item that remains unworn and with the tag still attached.

Or in preparing your tax records, you realized how often you stopped by the coffee shop or how often you had to repair the car.

When our eldest daughter was 9 years old, the No. 1 gift on her Christmas list was a Furby. After the initial glee of opening the robotic hamster-looking toy with moving ears and eyes and that could speak “Furby” and learn new English words, Aly tearfully told us she didn’t want it any more the next morning. It seemed the little fur ball talked a bit too much for Aly’s liking.

I liked to think she learned early about buying decisions and buyer’s remorse as we returned that little sucker back to the store within a few days — the Furby, not my daughter.

What we bought were two banana trees — you know, to give the backyard landscape that tropical feel during the summer. Of course when I said, “ I want those,” I really didn’t mean, “Let’s buy those.” But my husband is a man of action; and before I got the “I” out, he turned around and left to find someone who could tell us the cost of the plants.

If you didn’t know, after the show is over, the companies like to sell everything, so they don’t have to pack it up and take it back to their offices or storage. After Steve bartered the price down, we mulled it over as we walked around the flower and patio show for another hour — noting that we could either plant the trees in the ground and cage-mulch them in the winter or cut them down and overwinter them in the garage.

As the story goes, my knight-in-shining-armor (or knight-in-the-not-so-shining-truck) went back up at the end of the show Sunday to pick them up, and he said everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing over our purchase. What they (and we) didn’t know was that our midcentury modern 1959 home (also known as a brick ranch) has 8-foot ceilings. The banana trees are a good 10 feet tall.

Of course, I can’t plant them until the temperature is a solid 50 degrees at night, so temporarily one is holding up the ceiling in the living room, and the other is holding up the ceiling in Chloe’s old bedroom, kept company by a 4-by-4-foot Xanadu philodendron.

Cheers to the upcoming warm weather, or else I am going to have to cut a hole in the ceiling.

On the Web

You can now view the student documentary films from the Whiteland students here: