A couple of nights ago there was nothing interesting to watch on TV (it seems to happen a lot these days!) so I put on my video of the Channel 4 series about the discovery of the Lost Gardens of Heligan. As the old productive gardens were brought back to life at Heligan, the staff there insisted that all the varieties of vegetables grown there were period correct. Royalty were one variety of French dwarf bean that was grown there. So nearly 8 years ago Matron made a pilgrimage down to Cornwall to see the productive gardens fully restored to their glory. Royalty was a variety of dwarf French bean that interested me. A dwarf, bush bean with magnificent dark purple beans which grew at Heligan. Matron was more than a little excited therefore to see some old plants discarded on the compost heap at Heligan. With slight of hand, and more than a little guile.... a couple of dried bean pods made their way back to Hillingdon. A grand total of 4 beans was all that were viable, and from that only one precious plant made it to adulthood. This year I decided to plant a handful of Royalty beans. They are truly amazing to grow, and perhaps next year I will have a few more to swap.Excuse the titchy photo, but this appeared in my very first month of blogging way back in 2006, before I mastered the art! I have kept this variety going by planting seeds every few years. Like many of these old heritage varieties Royalty is incredibly prolific. You can just pick, and pick, and pick and they keep coming!