Well, the beans had already climbed, and now they are flowering. I nipped out their growing-points as they reached the top of their canes, which will encourage them to put out side-shoots.
In a couple of weeks' time the plants will have filled out a lot more, as further leaves and side-shoots grow, but there are already lots of flower-stems. The most obvious ones are the bright red flowers of the Runner Beans "Enorma" and "Jed's".
As the flowers fade, little beans are appearing. Once they get going they develop very rapidly and I think it will only be a matter of days before I can pick the first pods.
These ones are already 4 or 5 inches long.
The French beans are not as far advanced, and are mostly at the flower stage still. These are "Kew Blue":
If you look carefully you can see one little tiny bean pod here:
Likewise, there is one tiny pod in this cluster of "Kentucky wonder" flowers.
Regular readers will probably remember that I usually grow some "Cobra" French Beans, but this year I'm giving them a rest in favour of those other types. Maybe I'll return to "Cobra" next year?
Last year my bean harvest was very small, largely as a result of the compost contamination problem, but the plants are looking better this year, so I'm hopeful of a bigger harvest. Runner Beans are one of the few crops that we sometimes freeze, so it doesn't matter if we get a glut.
Unfortunately, this is a really bad year for Blackfly (well, actually it's a good year for Blackfly, so therefore a bad year for those of us who dislike Blackfly!), and they do like beans...
I have been hosing some of them off when watering the plants, but I have also resorted to chemical spray once or twice in order to keep the plague within manageable limits. Wish me luck!