A word from my beloved Beverley Nichols:
Long experience has taught me that whereas people will take advice about love, and about money, and about nearly all the problems which beset us in life, they will scarcely ever take advice about their gardens.
Oh, Beverley, you so get me.
It occurs to me, however, that I would be well-served to occasionally take a bit of advice from Beloved Husband, he of the annoying tendency to Always Be Right, even when he tiptoes into my territory: The Garden. Case in point:
“Honey, do you really think it’s a good idea to plant those beans near the potting shed?”
“Yes.” (clearly the man knows nothing of gardening.)
“You don’t think it will get too big?”
“No.” (now growing irritated under this barrage of questioning)
To his credit, he has never uttered the four ugliest words in the English language:
“I told you so.”
You know, if I’m going to be wrong on something, I might as well be spectacularly so, don’t you agree?
It won’t be long now, and the pods will ripen with next year’s beans, and I can rip this monstrosity off the potting shed. The vine is a lovely one, and I will plant it again next summer using a bit more common sense when I choose its spot. I thought you might want to know more about it, should you want to grow one yourself.
It’s an annual vine so the first hard frost will kill it, never to return. I harvest the bean pods before that first frost, and let them dry all winter long.
In spring I break open the dried husks, and let the beans continue drying in the house for a bit longer. They look like little Oreo cookies , don’t they?
Once the weather has warmed up in late April/early May and the threat of frost has passed, it’s time to plant. Soak the beans overnight in warm water, and plant them about an inch deep or so in nice fluffy soil in a sunny location. They’ll sprout in a week or two. And then stand back.
The vine spends a good deal of the summer just humming along growing in size and not producing anything much in the way of blooms. Even if it never produced flowers, it would be worth growing just for the foliage, I think.
And then the gorgeous blooms appear seemingly overnight, and I remember why I love this vine so:
How would the copywriter for the J. Peterman catalog describe this color? Is it magenta….or orchid….or violet….or a bit of them all? Oh, and the hummingbirds! The bees! Camera-shy as they are, trust me that they find this blossom completely irresistible – an opinion I share, of course.
Soon the little bean pods appear, the flowering slows, and the cycle of life begins anew:
Any day now I’ll start harvesting the bean pods to dry. Anyone stateside who might want some? More than happy to share a bit of my garden with you. Just let me know.
And next summer? I think the side porch looks like a fine prospect to receive a vigorous vine, don’t you? Maybe I should go ask BH for his opinion? Nah, I know what I’m doing in the garden!!!