Garden Wisdom

"The glory of gardening: hands in the dirt, head in the sun, heart with nature.."  -Alfred Austin



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Jeff, Gardener in Chief

Contrary to popular opinion, some people in the Hamptons enjoy getting their hands dirty. I'm a self-taught gardener in East Hampton, NY that enjoys sharing my gardening experiences and inspiration with others. Hope you enjoy my blog and galleries.

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A "Mess" of Beans


"Mess" of beans

Down South where I grew up, you heard often someone referring to a quantity of produce as a "mess".  A mess of peas or a mess of beans.  However, I'm not sure what quantity "mess" actually represents.  So let's just say that the first harvest from my green bean plants this season was a "mess".

Just to be clear, I don't actually have a vegetable garden.  My sunniest planting beds are reserved for perennials and roses.  Plus, I would much rather support the local Hanptons farmers whose continued existence ensures not only tasty produce but open fields free of McMansions.

However, while buying my annuals for containers this year, the small bean seedlings at the nursery intrigued me.  I asked the nursery owner if these needed to grow on a pole or trellis.  She said they were bush beans.  Perfect, that meant they could live in a container.  So I put a few plants in a big, blue glazed pot, along with a New Guinea impatiens for color, and set the pot in full sun by the pool.  Voilà, a decorative vegetable garden.

Prime for picking

Didn't take long for a few blooms to appear.  Then small beans started forming.  When I saw that several were getting pretty big,  I picked them for dinner.  I was dining alone that night so it was a perfect single serving size (even shared a few with the schnauzers).  Can't say that they tasted any better than the ones from the local farms,  but they were fun to grow.

With a little more Miracle Grow,  I may have a "mess" for two soon.

A decorative bean patch

Reader Comments (2)

I've just returned to North Carolina after 12 years in Asia. My wife is Australian. You're helping her learn what a mess of beans is.

March 2, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMichael LaRocca

I bet down there you'll find a "mess" of purple hull peas too! Yum.

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