Energy efficient home sees bananas grow

An ultra-energy efficient property has helped its owner produce bananas which are usually near impossible to grow in domestic UK homes.

Eco-friendly architect Mike Hillard has managed to entice three large bunches of the fruit to bloom in his hi-tech solar room.

The room in his Gloucestershire home is designed to stay between 10C and 16C above outside temperature all year by using heat from the sun.

Mr Hillard said: "This has all been done by the English sunshine in my solar room, which provides my house with an oxygen-rich atmosphere.

"It has been called the most energy-efficient house in the world. I was surprised when they flowered because I was told, 'Oh they'll never grow fruit'."

The green-fingered environmentalist contacted the Royal Horticultural Society after his find who told him to "get down on a prayer mat because they had been trying for years to get theirs to bear fruit".

His property, affectionately dubbed Tranquillity, costs just £60 to heat a year and Mr Hillard says he also saves money by using rainwater for showering and washing up.

Bananas are native to the tropical region of south-east Asia.

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