KEEN gardener Martin Jones has been growing banana plants in his Swanage garden for the past decade – but he never thought the Purbeck climate would prove quite this fruitful.

For the first time in ten years, and probably the first time in Swanage’s horticultural history, his plants have produced actual bananas.

Swanage may be a long way from the hotter climates best-suited to the popular fruit, but nonetheless Mr Jones has managed to cultivate Musa Banjoo fruits – known as Japanese bananas.

Unfortunately, unlike its popular yellow bendy cousin, the seeded fruit is pretty much inedible.

Mr Jones, of High Street, Swanage, explained: “I have never heard of anyone else growing bananas locally.

“I first noticed them last month, when I was making a phone call by the patio. It was one of the biggest surprises I’ve had in years.

“I was just stood chatting – then I suddenly thought, I just don’t believe what I am seeing here.”

The 60-year-old, who runs a dive charter business in Swanage, believes the mild winter is the reason for his unlikely harvest.