Monday, 15 August 2011

Beautiful Beans

Runner Beans
 After a slow start the Runner Beans are a triumph.  I didn't sow as many seeds this year, keeping my fingers crossed that the few that I did sow, would survive any onslaughts from slugs, snails and weather.  Thankfully they all survived.  I did put a pop bottle collar round them when they were planted to deter slug damage, but raising strong plants in the greenhouse helps.  In the wild runner beans grow in the Mexican mountains together with dahlias, begonias and lobelias which help bring the bees in to pollinate.  Fortunately, bees have learned the trick of opening up the petals to provide an efficient  pod-setting service.  Unfortunately, pollen beetles also like them which discourages the bees as they sit in the keel of the flower which will then be left unpollinated.  The more you pick the more beans will come, but leaving beans on the plant will result in stringy beans and production will stop. 

I have sown a late crop of 'Hestia'  in pots, they are a dwarf variety, I haven't tried these before, so it will be interesting to see if they produce beans before the frosts, and how many the plants will produce.


  1. I grew some "Hestia" once. They were short pods as well as short plants. Nice quality, but very few compared with a climbing Runner. Quite decorative as a patio plant though.

  2. They look delicious! My beans are finishing their prolific spurt, so I may be taking them out and adding some peas for autumn. Have a great harvest, and welcome to Blotanical!

  3. At one stage I thought that I'd have none but at long last some are just starting to form!
    Meantime plot neighbours have been very generous and given me plenty. Flighty xx

  4. I missed growing runner beans this year. One of my best memories is going to my Uncle's house with my girls when they were very little and picking lots and lots of beans. He gave me seeds which I bought with me to Canada (probably illegal to do now) and grew my own here. But they never grew as well as his did.

  5. Lovely looking runner beans. And plenty more to come by the look of the flowers.Do you eat them steamed or some other way?
    I struggle to keep up to speed with one blog and you manage two!

  6. Bean flowers really are so pretty! And climbing beans look great in any garden, even if they weren't edible.

    I'm going up to my own garden this coming weekend and hope that my French beans look as great as your runner beans.

  7. Your beans look both delicious and beautiful. I am new to growing bush beans which did not do so well with our weather this year. Looking to try different varieties...


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