We love runner beans. They are so easy to grow and pigeons do not seem to like them at all, which is great news. We grow ours from last years beans in the house in April, moving them to the unheated greenhouse, and then into the garden in early May. They have been taking a while to get going, but then my husband reminds me that every year I am impatient with the growth of young plants once planted outside, and worry that something is amiss. Runner beans are a little like courgettes in the sense that you really can not go wrong with them, and their harvest is prolific and generous. Our variety is “Painted Lady”, which has gorgeous red and white flowers. Apparently it is an older variety of bean considered to have one of the best flavours around.
Later this year runner beans will feature heavily in our diets – my favourite is Jamie Oliver’s runner bean stew, great with white fish, jacket potatoes or crusty, homemade bread.