Thursday, 4 August 2011

Patriotic Beans

Out in the garden last weekend it suddenly struck me that the colours of the flowers on my beans are the same as those on our national flag - the red, white and blue of the Union Flag...

Here's the red

Runner Bean - "Aintree"

Runner bean "Aintree"
Here's the white

"Yin Yang"

Yin Yang - being pollinated!
And here's the blue (well, blue-ish)

French bean - "Amethyst" (Notice the Ladybird)

Pretty flowers are all very well, but we have to think about the End Game too - the production of beans. This is what I want!

"Lazy Housewife", "Aintree", "Selma Zebra", "Cobra".

The speckly ones are "Selma Zebra"

Not many just yet, but they look to me like fine specimens, and I hope there will be lots more to follow. The Runner Beans are looking particularly good this year - maybe the weather conditions have suited them well. Sometimes I find that many of the early flowers just fall off without setting any pods, but that doesn't seem to be the case this year. All the beans, and particularly the Runners, like moist soil best, so I am careful not to let them dry out, watering them every day when the weather is hot. If you are growing beans for the first time, let me offer this advice: try to incorporate into the soil where you intend growing them as much organic material (compost, manure, veg peelings from the kitchen etc) as you can muster. Put this in well in advance if you can. It will aid moisture retention.

It is also important to pick the beans when they are ready and not let them get over-mature. If you stop picking, the plant stops producing. Obviously though if you are growing the beans for shelling rather than for the young pods you have to adopt a different approach!


I have awarded the prestigious (?) Mark's Veg Plot Chilli Award to Sue Garrett of Our Plot at Green Lane Allottments.

Sue thoroughly deserves this award since she is not only hugely knowledgeable about all things related to gardening and wildlife, but is also more than willing to share this knowledge with other people. Her own blog is a mine of useful information, and her contribution to other peoples' blogs via her prolific and always sensible Comments is immense. Thank you, Sue.

If you have not already visited Sue's blog, I hope you will do so soon!


  1. Now you've made me blush Mark - are you sure you haven't mixed me up with someone else?

  2. Beautiful beans, Mark. Congrats Sue - Mark's award is well deserved.

  3. A good variety of beans you have. Your Selma Zebra beans are quite new to me.
    Congratulations Sue!

  4. I've been catching up on your posts Mark and I love your photos on the previous post. Good beans - I'm going to have to try growing Sema Zebranext year. My runners have had a 2nd flush of flowers now, so we're going to get a really good crop by the time we go away! My peas have done poorly this year, but that seems to be a common problem round here sadly!

    Well done to Sue - a well deserved award!

  5. Lovely bean photos!

    I bought beans today but mine will have been trucked down from Queensland and all the sorrier for it. Yours on the other hand look fabulous. - I'd be interested to know what the Selma Zebra taste like and whether they lose the zebra effect when cooked?

  6. Thank you, especially for introducing me to Selma Zebra.

  7. Now you are making me jealous with your beans again!

    Congratulations on the Chilli award Sue :-)


Thank you for taking time to leave me a comment! Please note that Comment Moderation is enabled for older posts.