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Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Between Want and Forbidden - A Banana Story

I was sending my wife to work and spotted these dwarf banana growing freely along the roadside. I was so tempted to uproot few of them and plant them in my garden. And when I mean tempted - I could literally just do it in a few seconds. These plant are barely not taller than a meter high. And being banana plant -their roots are not that deep.
But.... (yes, there is a but here)

I just didn't feel right..

What could possibly stop you from taking something that is freely growing wild by the streetside. All you know,
one day a grass cutter is going to come any day and chop the whole thing in one morning.
I had contemplate upon this thought almost everyday,
I guess its more than a month now.
The bananas are gloriously blooming fervently frequently with gracious bouquets.
Yet.. I feel something so wrong...

Have you ever felt a sensing..
like a weird feeling that some plants are forbidden?
Strange that in might sound -
I'm a person who don't believe in these folklore -
all the more, I make a point to prove the matter wrong.
Often times, I dare because I believe that no harm can come to those who are pure hearted.
There were many tales and many "no-no's" coming from my relatives and few friends,

for example:
don't garden in the night,
don't disturb the fragrant flowering plants,
don't pluck or cut the jasmine at midnight..
etc, etc...

Somehow, I didn't feel all these warning as a threat,
rather its for the faint hearted who chose to believe
and feel confident in what they believe is true...
sort of like a heirloom garden stories
brought down throughout the generations
(perhaps - I may be wrong)

Coming back to the banana's story...
really this one is one of a kind, small - cute and easy flowering.
Yet, there is a great sensing of "forbidden-ness" written all over it.
Everytime I change my mind
and when I arrive here to take it...
my heart races and my "senses" give a red alert sign
- like there is a fierce dog watching and waiting to pounce
or that feeling that you get when you see a swamp of red ants!

I remember taking the picture upfront.
But the picture is (missing!!!)
Its a picture of an abandon house which really look very eerie.
From the background you can note that these banana plant
had somehow had crawled from the premises to the roadside.

Again - strange.
There is so many thing wrong with the picture of this house.
(but I spare you the eerie-ness)

OK - so what's is the deal here.
I ask you this questions:

Would you dare take this plant?
Would you go against your inner senses and take this plant?

Share me your thought on this matter.
Really appreciate another gardener's thought on this matter.


I guess I have not mentioned few things concerning this topic, probably its very much sounds like an urban legend or perhaps a folklore ghost story. I'm actually running out of words in order to bring my storyline here - keeping it interesting and the same time factual.

I'll begin my story by mentioning that there is a belief among the old folks and that few generations before that concerning spiritual things that its believed that spiritual beings do reside in trees. And above all specifically few special trees that one have to be watch out for as they are more sensitive and prone to these kind of matters.
Failing to follow the culture will lead to a series of problems, often times it would appear as disturbance, ill health and in worst case senerio - possession.

I had asked around casually and chanced to hear a real life account concerning a banana ghost story. This story belongs to an old man whose mother loved gambling and somehow she chanced herself into some dark arts to get the prediction for the lottery that is to strike.
She struck a needle upon a banana tree and strung it with a string and pull it all the way to her bedroom. Apparently she had a dream or vision of a very beautiful female spirit being and she gave a favour for whoever ask of her.
And his mother did strike the lottery and won the cash prize. But eventually his mother got greedy and did the same thing over and over again until one day she had gone mad.
Now, this is a true story based on the account of his life story.

And his advice, yes - do grow a banana tree, do tend the tree and enjoy the fruits and its yield.
But keep this strictly gardening & that's it. Nothing less and nothing more.

This is another similar story line concerning a Banana Ghost Tree, its funny though the way the movie is taken, but the details of summoning is somehow similar to this videoclip.


  1. Trust your instinct ;-) I am sure you have done the right thing by leaving them where they belong. Have a great day!

  2. Scary......Personally, I don't believe all those since I've garden at night and accidentally abused my wrightia. Still, I won't take these if my senses tell me something is wrong.

  3. LOL. So many times, I have the same temptations. I've always believed you should not take a plant or a cutting without the owner's permission. There is an old wive's tale here in the South that such a plant would be cursed. Silly, I know. Here it is illegal to remove a plant from private or public property without permission. I guess, if it's an invasive alien, that's a different story. Anyway, you could always take a banana off it once it fruits, right?

  4. Theres a huge clump of shell ginger on the roadside that I've been resisting for years. Is there anyone you could ask for permission on those? They really are quite beautiful and I haven't seen any like it before. Perhaps just a small sucker off the side... since they'll produce more anyways. What a great groundcover!

  5. Better not take it you never know what or who will follow you home...scary!

  6. I totally understand the feeling...it happens to me all the time. My first step would have been to find an ally in the neighborhood. Once you found someone who would agree that that it is alright to "rescue" some of the banana suckers then you are relieved of the guilt that tells you not too. :)
    BTW those bananas are short and beautiful!

  7. James, I think you have come accross an ornamental banana plant. The blooms are not the usual shade of maroon red. I have seen pink, yellow and gold coloured blooms. The plant is not as tall as the normal banana. They look very exotic and tropical when many a planted together.

  8. Stephanie - thanks for that advice, trusting the instinct.

    Aaron - I forgot to mention that I often garden in the night, handle all the fragrance flowers also in the night as that is the only time I have to water and prune and what not.
    And so, Im so used to it. But seriously, this banana story is totally another matter.

    Floridagirl - Thanks for your sharing, "cursed plants" Wow.. thats very interesting. Then its true that there is such thing as these in every culture and region. BTW, this banana plant is very much an ornament type, so I don't possibly see any fruits coming or in a fact an edible one.

    Rainforest gardener - Well, whats stopping you?? If the plant can do so much better in your garden, why not? Afterall - this plant appears to be abandoned right?

    p3chandran - Believe me, that what was on my mind all the time. So much so, I rather leave this plant rather than a thought of having nightmares, disturbance and worst dealing them with children in my home.

    Helen - I did check the neighbourhood around, its a business area where Hotels and private bungalows build with fences. No way can you get to talk anyone here in this place.

    Belle - Ahh.. yes, you are right - its an ornament banana.

  9. Hi James; this is a strange story. I must say the little banana plant is a temptress! It looks beautiful. I would take the plant if it is growing on the verges of the road and does not belong to anybody. I would listen to my voice who would say:" take this plant, it wants to be in your garden. You will look after it and cherish it. If it stays here it will just wither because nobody loves it.But if this plant stood near a house and garden, I would not take it.

  10. Hi James, I guess you did the right thing by following your intuition. I am not superstitious but intuition is a different thing altogether.

  11. James go ahead an pull one or two suckers, if it is by the roadside with the weeds, it probably means that someone threw the suckers there (dumped) to get rid of them and they grew. So they will not miss one or two. I know the guilty feeling of being caught heck just say that you have a very good home for it. Would you leave a defenseless kitten or puppy by the road?

  12. James are there any laws about not taking wildplants? if not then I think its ok to take even a little bit of the clump and give it a good home. You might regret not doing it in the future.:) Rosie

  13. It's the first time I've seen a dwarf banana like that. It's a beautiful specimen in a garden. I would really be tempted to uproot one if its growing in the wild.

  14. Muhammad - yes, its look very interesting isn't it.

    Titania - Believe me, most of the time when I collect plants which is often pruned and cast away, Technically speaking this one is for taking. Its just by the roadside and the weeds are all over as you can see.

    One - Yes, I totally agree with you concerning the difference. Sometimes when we pay attention to the voice of our intuition, we realise that we had made a right decision.

    Islandgal - Oh! How I wish it was so. But seriously no. The hauntings in my region is real and its not a matter of taboo. The issue is whether you would trust the instinct or not.
    Regardless, thank you for your thought on the matter.

    Leaves&Bloom - There is no law taking wildplants along the streetsides and abandon places (except for those protected species deep in the jungle) I think I might not regret taking this one - its all spooky and I think I cannot forgive myself if harm comes to my little ones bring this one in.

  15. What an interesting post. I would be reluctant to take something from roadsides where I live as they are heavily sprayed with herbicides.

  16. James, I have heard about the banana spirit story too. Only that the people who like to summon the spirit are males because the spirit is a very beautiful lady and she will mesmerise the guy. After making him extremely rich, she will take his life in return by saping away his 'chi' or energy each time they meet in bed at night.

    My Hindu friends tell me that the banana plant signifies fertility, that's why they tie a banana tree to each side of the main door to welcome good luck during a special celebrtion. Do you believe this?

  17. I would follow my instinct, James.

    My mom has always taught us not to pluck flowers or plants that grow wildly or even from other's garden. There is a belief that mom said one will become infertile if he or she pluck other's plants or flowers without permission. Hence, we never dare to pluck any plants or flowers without asking first.


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