Tuesday, April 03, 2012


Just out this blustery morning checking the bean plants, now about 30cm high and beginning to reach about, so into the soil beside each of them I inserted a selected mountain bamboo tip about a foot tall, after trimming off the multiple little branches down to an inch or so, providing a nice little sequence of easygrabbies up which the little bean plants can climb and hold against the wind to do their beanie max, but after 1 week I can see that they don’t care, they don’t give a damn, beans have no gratitude. But I knew that.

For some reason, the new beans ignore this valuable gift and just go scrabbling along, blown this way and that, looking for what, I don't know, an escalator? Is this a characteristic of modern young beans or has it always been like this? An even more disturbing thought is that maybe they’re like me when I was their age, all the obviously advantageous wisdoms and facilities around me and I ignored them for pennycandy fluffstuff I don’t even remember. Are there teen beans?

Gardeners can’t help but plummet down the rabbit hole of such thoughts when they behold the natural world from up close, first-hand, dirt-knuckled. They look at other gardens, as I do, in my local wanderings, here and there noting the little tricks gardeners use, like one I saw several days ago, of tying a tangly handful of upside down broomstraw to a stake above a bean plant for the beans to grab onto and climb.

Naturally I was impressed by that and will try it, just like when I saw a farmer use some cut mountain bamboo tips with the branches trimmed back to a few inches stuck in the ground above his bean plants so they could climb easily what a great idea, so at once I cut some of the mountain bamboo that grows so prolifically around my house it’s a pain - plus I love free stuff - so I stuck it in the soil above my bean plants and they just bent right past it, ignored it cold, like they ignored my dangling strings, my jerrybuilt trellises, my rough braided twine...

Those farmers and I are using the same beans; I should see what they use for discipline.

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