While attending a marriage seminar on communication, Tom and his wife Peg listened to the instructor declare, "It is essential that husbands and wives know the things that are important to each other." He asked Tom, "Can you describe your wife's favorite flower?" Tom leaned over, touched his wife's arm gently and whispered, "Pillsbury All-Purpose, isn't it?" The rest of the story is not pleasant. —Author unknown

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Mascotte green bean: Chipmunk approved

'Mascotte' green bean, the All-America Selections 2014 Vegetable Award winner. Unless you have chipmunk helpers, don't try this at home!

‘Mascotte’ green bean, the All-America Selections 2014 Vegetable Award winner. Unless you have chipmunk helpers, don’t try this at home!

When Harris Seeds sent me a packet of ‘Mascotte’ green beans in July, I planted them in a sunny spot in the garden, right where green beans belong. This dainty bean is bred for small space gardens or containers, growing 16 to 18 inches tall. It’s the 2014 All-America Selections Vegetable Award winner, lauded for its diminutive size and upright posture.

The beans sprouted quickly, but I was disappointed in the germination rate. Quite a few beans were missing from the end of the row. I shrugged and waited for the plants to get large enough to harvest. The slim beans are tender and tasty in the delicious way that only fresh-picked garden green beans can be.

This week I discovered more attributes of this award-winning bean: It can grow in a rock wall. In dense shade. Planted by chipmunks. And there’s another bean plant growing about 4 feet away, atop the rock wall next to shade-loving epimediums and ferns.

I guess I’m just lucky that my resident chipmunks (inexplicably called “squinnies” by locals) didn’t devour all the bean seeds right away. I’m glad they tucked a few into a safe place for later retrieval. Or harvesting by the resident human.

 

 

 

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