When I saw them, there was new spring growth of runner beans with large leaves and gorgeous flowers, and there were some pods left on the vines from the previous fall. Inside the pods were large speckled dry beans. I had never seen anything quite like them.
Not only did my second planting grow well, but the plants I had started too late the previous year sprouted again–they are perennials! These beans are too good to believe. Who ever heard of a perennial runner bean?
Everything about Painted Ladies is large. The flowers, the leaves, the pods, and the beans. The vines want to grow to the sky. I strung jute twine vertically along the fence, tied loosely at the base of each plant, for them to hang on to as they twisted upwards.
We never solved the mystery of how they got started. The seeds seem a bit large for a bird to drop in, and L.’s neighbors don’t garden. In any case, I felt magic. The fairy-tale seeds grew vigorously and rewarded me with the harvest in the top photo. I wanted to share the bounty and the adventure with my gardening friends, so before I cooked any of my pile I measured a bit more than five beans into packets to give away.
This week the rain or drizzle has been constant, and forcing us to put off planting the garden. I’ve been thinking a lot about how much work there will be when the ground dries out just a bit. But just writing about this happy gift makes me remember the surprises that make me glad to be out there doing my part to be ready for heavenly blessings.