Saturday, 4 August 2012
Dad's Runner Beans
I have now been in the UK for three days, during which we have all been hectically working in the garden to try and conquer the three-foot high weeds and grass which have flourished in the non-stop rain over the last three months. Apparently, England had the wettest June since 1910. I haven't seen stats for July but they must be much the same. My brother has a large plot and a sit-on lawnmower, an industrial strimmer and a chain-saw to keep the vegetation under control. This latter was put to good use last month as two huge trees fell over in a storm and had to be cut up. We are thus occupied as the remaining family will be coming over for refreshments after dad's funeral on the 13th and we need to make a reasonable impression as most are gardeners. Mum's thing was flowers, but dad's was vegetables. On my last visit in February, it was sad to see the forlornly empty bed where dad tried his utmost to keep mum supplied every summer with her favourite runner beans. Even when he could no longer see, he still tried to dig it and plant fresh seeds every spring and this continued until she died and he was himself wheel-chair bound. This time, I am delighted to see my sister-in-law has decided to grow runner beans again in the very same spot and the beans have thrived in the rain, shot up, and are now ready for picking. Yesterday, my brother went to say goodbye to dad at the undertakers. He took a nice, big bean with him and put it in dad's top pocket: dad knew about the proposed new bean crop. He was mightily pleased.