I decided to order seeds for my summer vegetables by mail order online. It was really good because I got to choose from heaps of varieties you don’t often see in the nursery. It was very hard to stop my self from buying all sorts of exotic things. The chocolate-coloured capsicum was one I was particularly drawn to, but looking at my long list of candidates it had to be rejected. I decided that prettiness and weirdness probably weren’t the best characteristics to use to choose a vegetable. The Purple King climbing bean also sounded weird and pretty and unlike the capsicum it made the final cut. It had recommendations from two reliable gardeners, enough to allow it to remain on the list. Jackie French said that it was very hardy in droughts and neglected gardens, which sounded like a good trait. Peter Cundall promised highly attractive clusters of purple pods that turn green when cooked. The idea of this magic bean was too much to resist.
It has turned out to be a winner. It was easy to germinate and it has grown up a pole more than two metres tall. Most importantly it is bearing gorgeous purple beans.
The best part about Purple King is the amazing transformation when you cook the beans. From purple…
…it starts to change
…and ends up green!
It’s a very unusual colour raw, so it would look gorgeous in a salad. Once it undergoes its chameleon transformation it looks quite ordinary.
I’d definitely recommend it as a fun vegetable to grow. You will need to be able to train it up a trellis or a bean pole though, so it might not be suitable for a balcony.
I can’t resist finishing with my beautiful sunflowers. I usually tell myself that I put in flowers with my veggies for my housemate, but I must admit I love them too.