Fireplace, Woodstove & Garden Accessories

Scarlet Runner Beans and Mushroom Trellis


This spring we took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to put more of our pieces into our test gar­dens, to pair them with plant­i­ngs and pho­to­graph them in the land­scape. It nev­er hurts to run through the unpack­ing, assem­bly and instal­la­tion our­selves for trou­bleshoot­ing, either.

I have a large back­yard for a city neigh­bor­hood, but it’s not so big by most stan­dards. Ver­ti­cal ele­ments are real­ly impor­tant to cre­ate screen­ing and increase grow­ing area. The Mush­room Trel­lis (PYL-09) seemed a good choice for adding a dec­o­ra­tive ele­ment to my bor­ing rec­tan­gu­lar raised veg­etable bed. I decid­ed to try the scar­let run­ner bean, Phase­o­lus coc­ci­neous, known for its vig­or­ous growth and bright red blooms, and attrac­tive to pol­li­na­tor insects and hum­ming­birds. I fig­ured it would be able to fill in the “umbrel­la” of the trel­lis in our short New Eng­land grow­ing season.


As the soil in my beds is very loose, I opt­ed to secure the trel­lis in place with some heavy stones, rather than the stakes that come with it. A few years ago, a heavy gust blew over my pole beans mid-sea­son and that was the end of them! I plant­ed one bean at the base of each ver­ti­cal pole, so 5 in all. The loca­tion is not “full-sun” but gets 5–6 hours, and that proved plenty.

Though we don’t see many hum­ming­birds in the city, once the bril­liant red blos­soms arrived, the trel­lis was con­stant­ly abuzz with bum­ble bees. The beans proved too tough and fur­ry for fresh eat­ing in my opin­ion, but the blooms kept com­ing through the mid­dle of Sep­tem­ber. I will let the fat pods that fol­lowed dry, and the kids can har­vest the col­or­ful beans inside for soup.


The trel­lis was ful­ly grown in by mid­sum­mer and I could eas­i­ly have cho­sen the larg­er ver­sion (PYL-10) with a larg­er space. Giv­en the drought we had this year, Scar­let Run­ner Beans – which did not require much water – were a pest-free, heavy yield­ing, smash­ing success!

Paula, one of our oth­er gar­den­ers, in Maine, plant­ed Scar­let Run­ners on the Lat­tice Arbor after wind­ing it through with lights. She did get hummingbirds!



Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *