Chicago Beans

Beans! It’s all about the beans right now.

One of the last stops I made before leaving Chicago today after enjoying the Chicago Spring Fling was to go and see “the bean’. This sculpture in Millennium Park is officially known as Cloud Gate but many call it simply “the bean” because it looks like a bean seed.
I also took home some bean seeds from One Seed Chicago, given to us as we toured an urban vegetable garden planted by NeighborSpace.

According to the One Seed Chicago website,

“Each year One Seed Chicago selects one plant to be the focus of a season-long celebration. Imagine thousands of the same vegetable or flower linking community gardens, yards and window sills across the City! As One Book, One Chicago is to reading, One Seed Chicago is to urban greening.”

This year the plant to grow is ‘Blue Lake Pole’ beans so I’m going to sow these seeds in my garden, too, to grow along with people of Chicago and celebrate it in my own Indiana way. It will remind me of the fun we had at the Spring Fling, and the many gardens we toured, both public and private, including one NeighborSpace garden, the Ginkgo Organic Garden.

When I walked through the gate to that garden, I knew we had something in common, besides the use of raised beds to grow vegetables.


I’m sure their methods for keeping the rabbits out of the beds will be successful, and I wish them the best in growing food that will be shared with local food banks.

When I returned to my own garden today and removed the row cover from the green bean plot, I was relieved to see that they were indeed protected from the rabbits.

My beans seem to have grown “inches” while I was away. I’ll plant the ‘Blue Lake Pole’ beans tomorrow. They’ll catch up quickly and remind me of the fun of the Chicago Spring Fling.


Many thanks to those who organized the Chicago Spring Fling and lined up the garden tours and sponsorships. I’m sure at times getting us in the right place at the right time felt a bit like chasing a rabbit in the garden, but it all went very smoothly and a good time was had by all! Thank you!


  1. Great post, Carol. I'm glad you're planting the seeds. I have some of those that I already planted. Your garden looks great.~~Dee

  2. Glad the rabbits stayed away while you were in Chicago! You're absolutely right that the Fling team did a great job. I kept looking at all of us unruly gardeners and wondering how they managed to keep us on schedule so well. Must have been all those great food "rewards." Nice to finally see the real face behind your blog instead of the gal with the mower.

  3. Carol, on Friday I pulled out the dried-up snap peas and planted a package of Kentucky Wonder beans found in the bottom of the seed basket. Don't know if they will grow with temperatures over 90 but how fun to feel in synch with you Flingers.

    That is some serious rabbit protection!

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  4. i love going to see the "bean" in Chicago!!

    free seeds are awesome. i hope you enjoy them!!

  5. Hi Carol! Sooooo good to finally meet you at Spring Fling! And once again, THANK YOU for sharing your Night-blooming Cereus with me! I'll try to properly neglect it. LOL.

    I'm going to plant the pole beans, too. I already planted some yard-long beans, but will put some of these right next to them. I hope they won't attract the Japanese Beetles like my 'Fortex' did last year. Geesh! I think I'll plant the 'Fortex' in my neighbor's yard. LOLOL.

  6. "The Bean" attracted me, too, Carol; I couldn't resist taking lots of pictures of its reflections of the city. Wasn't the Lurie so impressive?

    Your garden looks great despite your being away for the weekend. My weeds are doing fine in the vegetable garden:) And apparently Hubby and Daughter didn't see the sign on the refrigerator that said PLEASE WATER THE PLANTS, so today will be a day of work instead of resting from the weekend.

    I so enjoyed getting to meet you in person this weekend, Carol! I only wish I'd read your "night bloomer" post before I left because I certainly would have given you the "secret code." And by the way, I haven't noticed a grammatical error yet:)

  7. What a relief to come back to the garden and find everything A OK. Here I am Monday am. looking for posts on the Spring Fling. I hope someone will post a list of all the posts so I can find them all. I'm glad you all had a great time and I can't wait to read them.

  8. Would it be horrible if I said the Ginkgo Organic Garden was the one that impressed me the most of all the gardens we visited?

    Not to discount the hard work of the gardeners at botanic gardens and conservatories, but the selfless nature of the volunteers at Ginkgo is a wonder to behold.

    Now where are my beans?

  9. i am enjoying all your blogs! your garden is beautiful. love all the colors.

  10. I love the shiny "bean" and especially the idea of One Seed Chicago. I'm going to have to think about that for a local event. We in Franklin County are also launching our Plant a Row project to help supply local food banks and meal sites with fresh produce.

  11. Your garden looks great and I'm so glad the rabbits took pity on you while you were away. We were kinda like rabbits, scurrying all about, weren't we? My beans are looking kind of sad, so I might try to put that new packet in and see what happens. (they will probably fry!) It was great to see you again -- I'll be thinking of you on Thursday night!

  12. Your bean plants look lovely.

    For the second year in a row I've tried to grow bush beans from large seedlings and just pulled them out because they look terrible and just do nothing.

    Maybe too cool in SF?

  13. Wow, I really love Lurie. I don't think it was there when I lived there- the colors are just fabulous. Glad you had fun and I missed joining you guys.

  14. Wow, your veggie garden looks great! I think it's a little too late for me to plant my bean seeds but I'll save them for next year. We had a great time, didn't we?

  15. While the forks look a bit strange I like your fork method of keeping the rabbits out of your garden better than the wire fences. Great to finally meet a fellow Indiana blogger.

  16. I tried some snap beans this year (yellow wax beans to be precise), planting one packet. The little plants came up nicely and began flowering on May 5th. So far our harvest has been about 1.5 lbs. Total! That's about $2 worth of beans at the grocer's. We made one nice stir-fry.

    Now the heat has kicked in and they have stopped flowering. (I have kept them picked. Like the tomatoes, they won't flower in our heat.)

    I don't feel like I got much of an ROI on these beans. I see Annie has already pulled hers up.

    How many beans (packets, row feet) and what kinds (snap or dry) do you grow each year and what do you do with them?

    I'm feeling pretty much the failure at growing beans and would like some advice.

  17. It sounds like you got to see a variety of gardens in Chicago. We have a good system of community gardens in my city, too.

    I'm glad the rabbits didn't eat your bean seedlings.


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