Sunday, May 29, 2016


Bean sprout has been excellent, a sure sign that a gardener has spent his year in the embrace of goodness, tolerance and a moderation verging on saintliness. The one Bean casualty was probably to a Dove, who are always easy to blame and easier to forgive. Dove are ground feeders, they don't cling to the stalks in the seas of longer grasses like pirates to feast upon seed in the way that Bunting can. Dove have to waddle about and they have to wait for the seed to fall, until this happens the shell-less cotyledons of the bean are a very understandable temptation. However, there is one other potential Bean casualty, and here the culprit will go un-forgiven into eternity, on downward through the spirals of hell, where saintly gardeners from the high reaches of heaven poke them with sticks for the entertainment of Satan. The thing about this particular row of beans, I'd strategically placed it to avoid the longer term Mole run, and at the same time I was possessed by the well known fact that Moles spend most of their thinking hours in a devious strategy the end purpose of which is to deny us gardeners any hope of serenity this side of the depths of winter just before the catalogues arrive, and I could go on but I do have the fate of next year's Beans to consider.

I guess if you're a little nuts you can get too involved in the Bean, might worry a little about whether a Bean's sprout from the cotyledon before it becomes the first true leaves can be given the wonderful title of Plumule.  But one thing's for certain that part of the Bean sprout  that heads downwards will in my heart always be called A Radicle. On she travels, into the dark domain, well aware that she is a root upon which all Beans depend, and around here she has to be quick to spread her tips and laterals find both grip and moisture before the earth moves to the heave of Mole-kind. The Bean cotyledon that rises at her sky-bound end hastens her progress by turning from white to green and is able to contribute to photosynthesis. Meanwhile in the earth A Radicle makes a safe home for the parts of soil that fix nitrogen, a glorious bacteria of the compost pile. Some argue that this home might look a little like a prison sentence, others might think of it as a fence to ward off neighbors, but whatever it is, the process a Bean goes through to cause these homes to happen is called Nodulation. A pensioner asleep on his arm chair, it's an old joke amongst those of us gardeners whose Beans are well on their way to a second pair of true leaves. Halleluiah!

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