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Beans Beans Banana Bambo Beans!


I am  jumping for joy singing ” Beans Beans Banana Bambo Beans!It is all about the pole beans this summer! Last summer, I had to start my beans 4 times since the critters kept eating the tops off ALL  of my beans when they reached a foot tall. I then started them in containers and the chipmunks  climbed up the containers  and  munched away while I watched! If they were not so darn cute it would have been more frustrating, but I love all their antics in my gardening running here and there, and I do have other critters that keep them in check, so I don’t mind them that much.


I finally gave up on my bush beans after 3 attempts and moved my pole bean trellis up near the house where my dogs lay in the sun. Banana Bambo, I got beans!!!It was a bit late, but I did get a short harvest towards the end of the summer, but the little critters left the beans alone, finally!


Growing in small spaces means having to adapt to new approaches + experimenting until you get it right. I have grown many types of bush + pole  beans on our city  lot, but I only found one-bush bean that I really liked and that was  Dragon Langerie Bush Wax Bean, which is also known as Dragon Tongue Bush Bean. I only grow them if I need to put a cover crop in the area and work the bean plants into the soil after the season.


 I primarily grow pole beans since I do not have a lot of space. Pole beans also take up less space + you have a longer time to harvest throughout the summer. I grow many of my crops vertically. I have found pole beans to be one of our main crops in the summer + I can’t imagine a summer without fresh pole beans!


 My all time favorite pole bean is Gold Marie Vining (75 days) which is  a beautiful color of banana yellow or as some growers describe “a canary romano type” pole bean. This bean was almost extinct but due to a bunch of backyard gardeners they saved this old heirloom bean. These beans have a ‘buttery texture” to their taste, oh my gosh, they can get over 7 inches long and they are flat ( like a romano), and they are never stringy. That is one of my requirements, I hate stringy beans.You do not even need butter or salt on these beans they are that good!


I grew two purple beans this year, but this is the second year for Trionfo Violetto French (75 days) type pole bean. I love the vines on Trionfo Violetto they are strong and have thick vines that wrap beautifully around a trellis. They also have a beautiful deep green heart-shaped  leaf that just stands out in the garden. They have a lovely nutty bean flavor that is something you look forward to every summer + never tire eating many times. I enjoy picking them since my favorite color is purple.


This year I decided to try Blue Coco Pole Beans ( 72 days) and they are a pre-1775 French heirloom named for its chocolate colored seeds and bluish-purple pods. The green leaves are tinged with a lovely purple and they can be used as a snap, shell or dry bean. I use them mostly for fresh eating, but this year I may leave some on the vines to try as a dry bean. I found mine to be more mottled in their purple color than the Trionfo Violetto which is fine with since I enjoy the fact they are very prolific! I pick a batch and within a few days I have another basket full! They do need to be picked around 5 inches, but I have not found them too stringy when I forget them on the vine!


 We had a terrible drought in 2012 and  Rattlesnake Pole Bean ( 70 days) was the only bean standing in my garden. All my pole beans dried up and would not bloom during the many weeks of drought even after daily  watering. This heirloom bean continued producing until our first frost.


 The name Rattlesnake comes from the purple streaking that resemble markings of a rattlesnake.


I let my Grandpa Ott Morning Glory vines roam throughout the pole beans,but this year it is getting a  bit thick with all the rain we have had+ it is hard to keep up with the morning-glory vines + they are starting to  crowd out my pole beans.


 The combination of purple/white bean flowers ,,,,


  + Morning Glory flowers is beautiful for the morning-glory open in the morning + close in the afternoon….I have not been on my computer much this summer since growing more food is taking more of my time + sitting down at the computer is a bit hard this summer….to all my friends over the cyber fence, please forgive me if my post + reading of your blogs this summer is not as frequent, I just am  busy trying to keep up with growing + weeding!! All this rain + cool weather means a lot  more weeds!


33 replies »

  1. Robbie, these are the most gorgeous photos! I’ve never even seen these kinds of beans–they are all beautiful, worthy of growing just for the pictures 🙂 I have only had Morning Glories once, about 30 years ago. They were so invasive in everyone’s yards they had a terrible reputation. But I don’t recall any of them blooming, just green vines traveling and choking things out, no matter how many times you pulled them up. Yours are beautiful! I swear you could make weeds look beautiful! 🙂

    • Oh Mandy, they can be invasive + this year I am rethinking them again! I took out my butterfly bushes after I found out they have become invasive…soooo..these may be going,too, but I am sure it will be a battle. I do like them in the morning….I will wait and see how it goes this year. aww…you are too sweet:-) Your garden is looking beautiful ,too!

  2. Ha! I just sent you a message via my blog asking how you were getting on, returned to my email and there was a lovely post from you! I get so excited when I see your photos and read what and how you are growing. I would love to try some beans in my courtyard – but I may be pushing my luck, two sq metres isn’t an awful lot of space! I know your yellow beans, we call them ‘butter beans’ here and they were one of my favourites. I don’t see them in the markets any more. Your purple beans and rattlesnake beans I have never seen or tasted. Your beautiful Morning Glory is called convolvulus here and is an introduced pest. It takes over and grows so prolifically it can strangle a tree in very short time. It is a shame as it is so pretty and so easy to grow 🙂 Our soil and climate is so hospitable to many introduced plants that we have this as a problem – it’s probably not the worst problem to have!

    It sounds like you are having a wet summer too – ours was pretty much a wash out 🙂 But for a gardener the growth must be most satisfying – except, as you mentioned, for the weeding! I trust you have a sturdy pair of gumboots!! Lovely post, thank you dear Robbie for coming inside long enough to share xoxo

    • I know I have been so busy with family + weeds-lol. Also too many things breaking down here this past month. Busy fixing cars + things! I just have not had much time to wander and take pictures. The morning glory is a bit invasive, but I try to keep it under control. I enjoy the morning flowers, but like the trumpet, too + it can become invasive! I took out a lot of my butterfly bushes this year since they claim they are invasive, is a challenge. I don’t like the way the way the morning glory plants are taking over, so I may be rethinking it here, too for next year:-) May repalce pole beans where all the morning glory vines are growing!
      I grow on a trellis about 3 feet wide and get enough pole beans for the two of us and some:-) You really don’ t need that much room. I put some extra in this year for other people. The blue coco are on an arbor and just that one arbor would be enough for us. I would think with one person you just need about 10 vines max:-) They are pretty,too:-)

  3. So many lovely beans Robbie. I love the look of your yellow one. I grow Purple Teepee which is prolific. I love beans too but it is a job to keep up with them. Do you freeze them?

    • Yes Choris, I did this year + I found a site where they said you do not have to blanch them + that is what I did this year. I found them rubbery when I did freeze them for winter use in the past + canning just has too much salt for me, so I am trying this new approach. They said if you have pole beans, you can just chop them and bag them + suck the air( with a straw) out before you put them in the freezer. They said they do not get rubbery + squeaky( hate that) when you eat them. I read they taste fresh from the garden! hmmmm…have to check that out. I put a dozen away a few days ago + will have another dozen bags today! I also left out one bag to check if it is truly accurate. I always have to check things out + see if they are true before I put info here on my blog, so I’ll share when I do tast them:-)
      I love the Gold Marie Vining + have never tasted anything so wonderful in a yellow bean. They are flat + long and NEVER stringy or tough. They do melt in your mouth-lol

    • they are cute as long as they don’t reproduce too much!!!:-) I love taking photos of plants they are so beautiful that all it takes is the right lighting + a moment in time:-) I really could not capture the Gold Marie vining since the beans like to hide, but try them this year, they are the best yellow bean I have ever tired! YUM!!!! I am not lying they are buttery tasting, or maybe I just have an active imagination-lol!

      • That’s a good vegetable, buttery without the calories!! 🙂 I will have to see if we get it here.

        Honestly your photography is stunning, you have found your niche in that hobby. I was going to ask you to do the blog hop but know how busy you are right now.

      • awww…you are too sweet. I finished this simple blog post last night after midnight, geez, I am so not a person to stay up late! If you want some of the seed, I have extra for you Wendy! Just send me your address( to + I’ll send you some for this next year. I can send you all three:-) I know there are laws, so I do understand if I can’t. If you check on line you can find them at Baker Creek Heirloom which is where I found them, but I don’t know if they can sell them to you either with all these laws:-)

      • You were up after midnight?! Gosh I can’t remember the last night I saw midnight lol, this old girl is usually in bed by 9 🙂
        I will get in touch Robbie, it wouldn’t hurt to try…thank you 🙂 🙂

      • lol…yes, and that is why I fell asleep on the couch at 6pm right after dinner! We need to figure something out since Pauline has the same problem with the laws etc…

      • Roger is a great one for that lol

        I will have a look first and see if we can get those here, I haven’t had a chance yet. I have to send some of our bean seeds to Fran in Oz but am expecting they will get returned….never know though they make sneak through.

      • really awful when you get the drool going down your face-lol!

        this is crazy:-( don’t understand why it is so hard, but I guess it is all the invasive species that have caused problems, but maybe they should let us share “food” seeds for goodness sake! lol…I”ll look into it too:-)

  4. Oh yum! You have given me some names of beans to try. I feel bad as my starts are still in the greenhouse! But I have to weed and clear where I want to plant them and it is a jungle out there kiddies! I did manage to transplant two Dragon Tongue into one of my beds. The first time I am growing them. That buttery yellow bean is SOLD! I love the blue cocoa beans. I painted them once but have never grown them – SOLD!

    • I find them hard to photograph, but to paint them would be difficult,too:-) There is something about beans that just seems hard to capture, they just never look as good in a photo as they do in person for me, but a painting, now that may work!!! Oh, do try the Gold Marie, like butter my dear:-)lol

  5. Wow, I can imagine your beautiful garden, I have never seen the purple beans, I am sure they taste wonderful.

  6. Man, do you have lots of beans! They are beautiful ( l like the photos with matching flowers – nice touch!) and your descriptions make me wish I planted more than just my scarlet runner beans! maybe next year 😉 Enjoy your garden and the cool Canadian air while you can.

  7. Seriously, how on EARTH would you have found a way to use all of those pole beans if the little helper chipmunks didn’t cull them for you eh? You would have been up to your eyeballs in pole beans with no chance of survival. They did you a huge favour. Unlike our possums that even if we tied Earl up next to, would find a way to drop down through the roof on a string like you see those bank robbers doing all dressed in black but our possums would be dressed in fur…and voracious as heck! Kudos on your beans and your variety and your amazing photos. I am in the process of stirring my winter time brain in order to think about summer time crops. Not easy when the fire is on, the weather is cold and I have a squillion studies to get through but them’s the breaks and the narfs brain needs, like the fashion industry, to get a season ahead in the present time…wish me luck as I am SO going to need it 🙂

    • lol…”drop down through the roof on a string…. like you see those bank robbers doing all dressed in black…” too funny!!! Makes me think of those old cartoons that those of us over 45 remember:-)…but black and white fur! I actually read a post by a woman that did not blanch them and just harvested the beans off the vine, cut them up, used a straw to suck the air ( no fancy machine-lol) and froze them in the fridge for winter eating. She said they were just like fresh out of the garden. My fingers are crossed, so I did freeze all of them and will continue so we have a winter supply! I hated blanched beans( yuck!!) they always were squeaky between my teeth and rubbery, but I am trying this new approach-too easy, I sure hope it works!:-)
      You rest, it won’t be long when I will be under snow and reading all about your garden antics:-) I don’t envy the studies, I am so glad not to have a squillion studies…I remember those days..I still, on occassion wake up from a nightmare thinking I missed a deadline for a paper!!!

    • Hi Andrew!!!! How have you been…our house soon,backyard + we will be contacting you soon:-)
      Yeppers, those rattlesnake are yummy!

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