Tuesday, January 11

Beans in the flower patch?

I always think that bean plants would get away with calling themselves ornamental.

Broad beans have flowers that remind me of bees and until we grew them I never realised just how perfumed the flowers were. We have grown both the white and red flowered varieties. The red flowered varieties still produce green beans and the flowers can be really variable ranging from pale (almost white) to deep pink.
This year we will be growing three white flowered varieties Bunyards Exhibition, Witkiem Manita and Masterpiece Green Longpod. We’ve grown all of these before so we know what to expect. We don’t sow our broad beans in autumn and so we grow Witkiem Manita as it is an early cropper.
We grew three varieties of French beans last year which gave us three different flower and bean colours. Royalty produced purple beans (although these turn green after cooking), Sungold yellow beans and Delinel green beans. This year we are just changing Delinel for Tendergreen. Just for a change really - I hope the flowers are as pretty though. 
All of then have pencil shaped beans which we prefer. Last year we grew them successionally which proved very successful.
We also grow a mix of runner bean varieties. This year we will grow Desiree which has white flowers, Lady Di and Enorma with red flowers and Painted Lady with red and white flowers. In the past we have also grown Celebration which has salmon pink flowers.
All the beans will be sown in pots in the cold greenhouse before planting out as small plants.
We grow lots of beans as they freeze really well and usually provide us with plenty of home grown vegetables throughout winter especially when conditions are bad and we can't get to the plot to harvest anything freshly.


  1. I agree...I think that bean plants are very pretty. I plant some purple beans in a big pot with some bamboo sticks and place it on the deck next to our outdoor furniture in the summer.

  2. Never knew that bean flowers can be so beautiful and all different varieties too! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Robin - I think beans are ideal for patio planting - did you mean the purple broad beans as they will give a lovely perfume too when you sit out - must admit the first time I noticed it I spent ages trying to track down the perfume as I never imagined it would be the bean.

    Hi p2chandan - I wish all the seed companies would pop photos of the flowers as well as the beans then we could plan on look and taste!

  4. I grew some broad beans for first time last year and was surprised how pleasant the flowers on them were, orange/red in colour. As opposed to beans I am having a go at growing six varieties of sweet peas, 'Claret', 'Pink', 'Striped' 'Scented', 'White' and 'Bijou'. Will let you know how I get on with them in the blog!

  5. Beans are one of my favourite things to grow, and eat. We've had some which we froze with our dinner tonight. It's good to still be eating some of our summer grown crops.

  6. I'd definitely say yes to beans in the flower patch. They do have such wonderful flowers.

    I'll have to check the scent of my broad beans this year. The first shoots of my super aquadulce are already pushing through - it always excites me to see the first seedlings come through.

    You grow a great selection of beans. Thanks for sharing the varieties with us.

    How about peas in the flower patch, as they can have beautiful flowers too. (Mind you, peas are best eaten fresh, so beans do store better)

  7. I have never grown broad beans before and the flower is very pretty. Do you blanch you beans before you freeze them? We are growing Purple King Climbing bean and is already withering due to heat. I am not very good at growing beans they just barely survived. I never knew the flower has scent.

  8. I love my beans...I sowed my broad beans last autumn and they are doing very nicely. I will also sow runner beans and dwarf beans. I grow scarlet emperor runners but haven't thought of the dwarf variety I am going to sow yet. like you all of mine will start off life in pots in the greenhouse. I use peat pots as i don't have to disturb the roots and it's a good little extra to go back into the soil!

    Have to say...I've never given much thought to the flowers before...only in as much as...'oh the beans are flowering...looks like it's going to be a good crop this year!'

  9. I love planting flowers... I hope I can have that one... I'll find some. Thank you for giving me an idea. :-0
    Alaska Fishing Lodge

  10. I never thought about bean flowers this way, but now you are mentioning it, they are very pretty. I had 3 bean varieties, one had white, other yellow and third one purple flowers.

    I have never grown broad beans, so this is the first I see the flowers. Beautiful!

  11. Hope you're not thinking of eating the sweet peas Craig :D

    We have plenty in the freezer too Jo - they make a great stop gap.

    Peas will be my next subject FJ. We freeze bith peas and beans but beans don't store well out of the freezer.

    We are too lazy to blanch anything Diana - in theory you should but they freeze well without maybe we lose siome nutrients - not sure. Beans do like moisture which is maybe why yours barely survive.

    We've never had much success with peat pots Tanya - they never seem to rot down completely and the roots don't seem to find a way out

    Welcome AFL - the flowers are really a bonus as we do grow them mainly to eat.

    Broad bean flowers really are lovely Vrtlarica but it was the perfume that really surprised me

  12. Beautiful flowers! I had no idea beans could be so colorful or scented. I hope mines will do well next season.

  13. Knowing you I'm sure they will Fer

    Mr GL asked why I said beans don't keep well. What I meant was that if you try and store beans over a long period of time they will become floppy but they will keep fresh for a few days.

  14. Couldn't agree more! vegetable flowers are wonderful - and the bees seem to prefer them to flower flowers!

  15. I thought the same about the heritage Peas I grew last year - so very pretty it was easy to see why gardeners developed Sweet Peas.

    Did I ever ask you if you wanted some of the seeds I saved? (varieties - Robinson and Stephens)

  16. Hi Sue, I link my newest post with yours since I really like this post. Hope you don't mind.

  17. It's good the bees like them isn't it Matron or we would struggle to get beans.

    A pea post is coming up BW and in answer to your question no - what are they like?

    Hi Diana no problem whatsoever - glad you liked it enough.


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