Giant crop of runner beans is no tall tale

Paul and Myff Allcock show off their giant runner bean plants.
Paul and Myff Allcock show off their giant runner bean plants.
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The pantomime season seems to have come early for a Motherwell couple who have their very own beanstalk to look up to from the back window.

Unlike in the fairytale, it didn’t start with a handful of magic beans, but Paul Allcock never imagined the tiny plants he put in a pot back in June would reach this height.

The plants just kept growing and now stand at between eight and nine feet tall. Not only that, Paul and wife Myff have dined on a bumper crop of delicious runner beans.

With pretty orange flowers into the bargain, the beanstalk is a stand-out in the retired couple’s Caldergrove garden and, just like the crop, the jokes have been coming thick and fast.

Myff said: “A friend was asking what had happened to Jack and the giant, and suggested we put lights on it at Christmas.”

Keen gardener Paul said he has grown runner beans before but they’ve never reached anything like this height. He puts his success down to good weather and plenty of tender, loving care.

He explained: “I bought the plants in June and simply put them in a pot with compost and some canes to suppport them. They’ve just shot up.

“The weather has been very good this summer which I’m sure has helped. The only thing to remember is to keep them well watered.

“We’ve had runner beans a couple of times with our dinner and there are more to come. I don’t think the plants will be around for Christmas lights as any frost will kill them off, but with the weather due to stay mild I think they’ll be here for a while yet.”

Paul and Myff have also enjoyed a fine crop of broad beans which were also planted in a pot.

He added: “One of my friends said he’d never seen broad beans like them. We don’t have a vegetable patch but I think our success with beans shows you can achieve a lot without one.”