Aren’t they amazing! I was astonished this week when I saw the colour of this year’s field bean blossom. They’ve never turned out like this before.
The beans were sown back in October and the plants were around six inches (15cm) tall when winter struck. I was surprised how well they survived the recurring frosts.
Once they start flowering, they often put on a growth spur which means staking may soon be required. One year they grew nearly as tall as me. But in any event, by early summer each plant will produce a mass of small pods with miniature broad (fava) beans inside.
They are usually grown by farmers for animal feed. They also make good winter cover to protect the soil, dug in the following season as green manure. This is done before flowering. Which means NO BEANS. Which would be a shame. They are delicious (if you like broad beans) and make a very tasty version of humus. Also good for the Tex-Mex refried beans approach. But for now we can just admire the extraordinary flowers. I’m only sorry I can’t pass on their wonderful scent.