Forage for pollinators: This produces pollen and nectar for a variety of Long-tongued Bumblebees and does not seem visited by Honeybees much.
Flowering time: July, August, September
Growing information: Open pollinated variety ‘Scarlet Emperor’ is a 1906 variety popular for its flavour and bright flowers:
Sow inside in pots in April. Plant out in May/June, in a single row spaced at 25cm apart against a wall or trellis, or wigwam in a flower-bed; or against double rows of canes spaced at 25cm apart, the rows 25-30cm apart, planting one bean against each cane to climb (to about 6f). They like rich soil, enriched with garden compost or horse manure (ideally applied in February). In dry weather, the flowering plant needs plenty of water, and to encourage more flowering, if you have time spray with water daily to increase humidity. In really long, dry spells you can also mulch around the base of the plants (such as with wet newspapers) to keep the soil moist. Otherwise refreshingly trouble-free and rewarding.