Tuesday, August 15, 2006

New Favourites : "Purple Peacock" Pole Bean

Purple Peacock bean closeupPurple Peacock pole bean on the pole Last time I checked on my beans, which was maybe a week ago, there were a few tiny strings forming among the flowers. This morning I was overjoyed to pick about 2 pounds of spectacular deep purple beans. Scarlet Runner bean on the poleWow! ThPurple Peacock bean on the vineis is the first year I am growing the "Purple Peacock" pole bean, from Westcoast Seeds. As I had dreamed (see my posting about the Purple Peacock beans when I purchased the seeds), these are a real treat to the eye, as I hope some of the photos here will convey.

The leaves of the Purple Peacock are greePurple Peacock and one Scarlet Runnern, the flowers are light purple, and the stems and beans are a deep purple. The flowers are quite unnoticeable, not like the showy Scarlet Runner beans, whose red flowers (see photo) are worthy of growing for ornamental value. Although my beans had a very slow start this year (the slugs kept eating them back as they emerged from the soil), they show vigorous growth now, and look like they will be VERY productive. Unlike the Scarlet Runner (one shown on top of the Purple Peacock beans), whose beans are hairy and can get tough if allowed to mature, the Purple Peacock are long, slender, smooth and tender.


Katina Mooneyham said...

I tried the scarlet runners and had problems with them. I might try to find some purple peacock pole beans next year. This year I tried bush beans and they seemed much better.

But I do like the look of those cherry tomatoes you have. They look like sun sugar ones and those are the tastiest cherry tomatoes I have ever tasted!

Kathryn said...

Hi Garden Lilly,

I'm located in Quebec, very close (13 km) to the Maine border. I've purchased the Royal Burgundy 2 years ago and was pleased with the outcome. But as you mentionned regarding another variety, they become tough when left to mature.

This year I'm trying the Peacock purple, and already have 2 ft plants growing in the window. (I'm a BIT early, considering there's so much snow here still...)My main question to you, to help me plan their location better, is how tall do they grow ?? And considering there's only 2 people here eating and I might go over board on plantings (grin), do you know how well they'll freeze ?


Kathryn (The garden cat)

Garden Lily said...


My stakes are approx 8' tall, and the plants easily reach the top within the growing season. If your stake is not as high, I suppose the growing end will flop over (or grab onto something nearby), but no harm done. That's what my scarlet runners do on occasion.

They freeze well, although the blanching will remove the brilliant purple colour, so they just look darkish green when frozen.

All the best. I hope you enjoy your Purple Peacock beans as much as I do mine!

Garden Lily

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