Plant a bevy of beans

And be rewarded with lovely leaves, pretty blooms and tasty crops

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Short of taking on an allotment to squeeze in all the lovely bean varieties available, which can take up lots of space, you can in fact grow beans on any plot. The beauty of beans is that you can even grow them well in containers – they really are so easy to grow, given just a little care and attention. There really is no better than a fresh bean from the garden to add a summer flourish to salads, and their ornamental wow factor is enormous too – lovely leaves and gorgeous red or white bean flowers make a real impact on the patio.

You can still sow beans directly now, for another few weeks or so, but a good quality range of pre-grown bean plants are a good way to go, to speed up harvest time, and to reduce your workload in the garden if you need to.

As for good sources of bean plants, try Rocket Gardens (www.rocketgardens.co.uk, tel: 01326 222169) for a selection of gourmet beans and peas, which includes borlotti and French climbing beans. Marshalls (www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk, tel: 0844 557 6700) do some splendid yellow and purple dwarf French beans that need no staking. Suttons (www.suttons.co.uk, tel: 0844 326 2200) offer dwarf runner bean Jackpot Mix, which grows a multi-coloured array of pink, white and red flowers on compact plants, and has a high yield of beans. You can be harvesting these tasty beans from July, right up until October.