Climbing French Bean: Kew Blue
The purple-pink flowers are complemented by purple-tinged leaves and stems, and followed by flat purple pods. These pods have excellent flavour, perfect for eating fresh or freezing. Dried beans have a rich, nutty flavour.
Approx 60 seeds per pack. Kew Blue climbing French bean seed grown in Wales by producer Chris Vernon. Stewarded by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library.
This variety is registered as a amateur variety.
Climbing French Bean: Machynlleth Mini
Machynlleth Mini French bean is a unique variety from an allotment holder called Syd who grew and saved the seed for over 30 years. Having originally grown these beans in Sussex, Syd brought them to Wales where they continued to adapt and flourish for him. Donated to the community group Dyfi Valley Seed Savers, this seed is now available to buy from the Wales Seed Hub.
Vigorous plants with creamy white flowers, they produce prolific crops of short tender green beans. When left to mature, the small white seeds are equally good for drying and cooking
Seed Story: A reliable and versatile French bean with creamy white flowers and prolific crops of short tender green beans. If pods are left to mature, the small white seeds are excellent used fresh or dried in soups and casseroles. Allotment holder Syd Melbourne grew and saved this variety for over 30 years before donating it to the Welsh community group Dyfi Valley Seed Savers in 2010 – it has been popular with mid Wales gardeners ever since. If you only want to grow one French bean, try this one!
Approx 60 seeds per pack. Stewarded by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Grown by Wales Seed Hub member Lauren Simpson.
Climbing French Bean: District Nurse
This variety of the Italian borlotti bean is suited to the cool, wet climate of Wales. Tall and bushy with pretty lilac flowers and pods splashed with dark purple. Can be eaten young and tender, or dried and used in winter soups and casseroles.
Approx 70 seeds per pack. Stewarded by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Grown by Wales Seed Hub member Carolyn Moody on her smallholding in Pontyates.
Seed Story: Drying beans are great, as they’re a fantastic source of protein, especially if you’re following a plant based diet. They’re tasty, healthy and can be stored for a long time without the need for complicated, high energy processing. You can dry pretty much any bean, but borlottis are my personal favourite as they’re not too big and have thin skins which means a velvety smooth texture when you cook with them later on. They’re great in soups, casseroles and chillies, and in my opinion, make the ultimate home made baked beans. They look fantastic in your garden, with their mottled coloured pods; and the speckled beans themselves are beautiful. A friend of mine once said they look like tiny dragons’ eggs! This particular Welsh variety of the Italian borlotti is suited to our cool, wet climate here in the south west. Back in the late 1900s an old lady in Cardiff gave some seeds to her district nurse, and the variety has been kept alive by local gardeners ever since, gradually adapting to the climate. It is now only available in seed libraries and from a handful of small seed companies. The plants themselves are tall and bushy with lime green leaves, pretty lilac flowers and pods splashed with dark purple.
Climbing French Bean: Pea Bean Inca
The French Bean that is like a pea! Beautiful ‘yin yang’ colouring on the seeds.
Climbing bean, pale yellow/white flowers, produces flat pods of unusual pea shaped beans that are purple and cream coloured, fantastic nutty flavour when cooked, use beans fresh or dried in soups and stews. Stores well.
Approx 60 seeds per pack. Stewarded by Garden Organic’s Heritage Seed Library. Grown by Wales Seed Hub member Chris Vernon on his One Planet smallholding in Wales.
Climbing French Bean: Lazy Housewife
Introduced in 1885 by W. Atlee Burpee Co with a buttery taste. Unfortunately named because the pods remain stringless for quite a while. Great cooked whole or dried. Coloured, fantastic nutty flavour when cooked, use beans fresh or dried in soups and stews. Stores well.
Approx 50 seeds per pack.
Grown by Wales Seed Hub member Maxwell in mid Wales.
Dwarf French Bean Seed: Uplands
A high yielding dwarf French bean producing a lovely red bean that can be eaten fresh or dried.
Grown using agroecological principles by Wales Seed Hub member Peni on her One Planet smallholding in Carmarthenshire.
Approx 60 seeds per packet.
Climbing French Bean: Cosse Violette
Not available 2024, sorry!
Lavender flowers are followed by deep purple pods on this heavy cropping climbing french bean. Early to produce and continues for many weeks during the summer. Stringless purple pods turn dark green on cooking.
Approx 60 seeds per pack. Cosse Violette French bean seed grown in Wales by producer Chris Vernon.
Why not save your own seeds!? All our seeds are open pollinated, non-hybrid varieties.
See our seed saving guidelines here: Save Your Own Seeds
Growing instruction – Climbing French Beans (for drying)
Because drying beans take longer to fully mature on the plant, they’re best started off early, indoors in April. Sow them in modules with some seed compost and if there are mice around, cover them up before they germinate, as rodents love the seeds. Harden off the young seedlings, then plant them out about 6-8” apart once all risk of frost has passed and he soil is warming up. Dig in plenty of organic matter initially, and water regularly throughout the season. The beans will need a structure with canes or string to wind themselves around as they climb. Most will find their own way up, but if any get a bit ‘lost’ you can simply wind them up yourself to begin with. Make sure you wind them anti-clockwise though, otherwise they’ll just unwind themselves!
Growing instructions – Dwarf French Beans
Sow undercover in late spring Sow in deep modules or small pots. Harden off and plant out after last frost. Sow 4 cm deep with spacing 15 cm between plants and 40 cm between rows. French beans like warmth, sun and rich soil. Although they are draft beans they still need support, bamboo or hazel tripods work well. Keep plants well watered. Keep picking to promote more flowers and beans. Sow in succession to provide harvest for longer periods. Late spring to late summer.
Seed grown using agroecological principles. We are licenced to sell seed and issue plant passports. Reg number: 7710.