West Cork's is well-known for its various 'micro-climates'. However, things are looking very tropical now that a banana tree that's been growing in the garden of a Baltimore hotel has just produced fruit, for the first time in 35 years.
The owners of Rolf's Country House in Baltimore were quite surprised when their old banana tree suddenly sprouted fruit. This might lead to West Cork able to claim tropical zone status.
The tree was planted more than three decades ago by lady of the house, Gertrud Haffner. She is a keen gardener and she bought the banana tree in a local garden center. Then she planted it in a sheltered part of her beautiful garden. The tree grew and flourished, but never bore fruit. Recently, it decided the weather was good enough.
Gertrud told CorkBeo: "We were so surprised and delighted to see the bananas finally showing up. First came the flowers, and then the bananas!"