Our donor was given these seeds by a friend who had, in turn, been given the beans by Percy Parker himself. Percy had grown this variety since World War Two in Barcombe, East Sussex. Unfortunately, Percy passed away, but his name lives on in this lovely bean. The strong and productive plants have white flowers followed by long, straight, flat, stringless green pods containing small, white beans.
Named after the donor's family, as this black seeded bean originated in their village of Kostilnyky, Western Ukraine. Prolific, stringless and crops over a very long period of time. Eat fresh when small and use as a dried bean when mature; delicious in every respect!
Originally from Poland, though acquired by our donor at a Belgian seed swap. Lilac flowers are followed by slender, 'snake-like' pods, bright green streaked with black. Matures quickly; use fresh, rather than as dried beans, as the pods are tasty and stringless. Seed Guardian Ann Rutter was suitably impressed, she says, “They wouldn't look amiss in the flower garden.”
This ex-commercial variety was deleted from the National List sometime in 2007, and thankfully passed to us before it was lost forever. Dating back to at least 1972, it was supplied by Thompson & Morgan who describe it in their 1995 catalogue as, “Long, tender, meaty and stringless 6-10 inch pods liberally loaded with unbeatable flavour. Heavy yield, good for freezing.” Our Guardians agree, and also note the strong, tall, vigorous plants with lush foliage, so provide some sturdy support!
Bred at Prosser, Washington State, USA for the USDA, this variety was developed for its disease resistance. Its popularity was limited as its dark purple, almost black, beans were too plump and large for canning, despite having a lovely rich, beany flavour. Produces strong and prolific plants which may require some support.
A rarity! It is claimed that these beans can be found only in 'one hollow' in Right Beaver Creek, Knott County, Kentucky. Growing to 1.2-1.5m in height, the pale apricot flowers are followed by flat, green pods which are tender and tasty when young. Let us know what you think of this one.
This variety produces massive plants with large pods and beans, huge foliage and lilac flowers. Their mild, sweet flavour makes them good for eating fresh when young, though they will become stringy if left to mature. The mottled maroon seeds make tasty dried beans.
Achieved an RHS first-class certificate on its introduction in 1885 and at one time (allegedly) the most widely grown climbing French bean in England. Probably synonymous with Tender & True and Guernsey Runner, neither of which are now commercially available. A good cropper, covered in straight, long, delicious flat pods from top to bottom. Stringless when young, but makes a really attractive and tasty dried bean too.
Originally passed to our donor's sister by a friend who had in turn been given them in the late 1960s by a retired British War Graves Commission gardener. Produces vigorous, very tall plants; up to 3.5m has been recorded; and curled, green pencil pods with purple 'tiger stripes', which disappear when cooked. The beans themselves have a full, hearty flavour.
This bean produces pale cream and white flowers followed by small, flat, green pods that become blotched red when mature. Eat fresh when young, when the pods are really tasty, or allow to dry and use the tan mottled seeds in soups and stews. Prefers a later sowing, is frost tolerant, and matures quickly.