Beans, Butterflies and Bertha update!

I thought it was too good to be true. I thought we had escaped any damage as the remains of hurricane Bertha passed through, but on going up to the fruit and veggie garden this morning, we found that the runner beans had been toppled.

Toppled Beans

Thank goodness the fence was in the way to stop them going any further. I have to admit, it was rather top heavy, so many beans were being produced, but I would have thought they were protected by the fences, the wind must have circled round doing its damage.


We have loads of beans in the freezer already, so its not too disastrous.After having a good look at the structure, we decided that we could leave it where it is as we can get to any beans that are still forming. It would be impossible to put it back to how it was, thank goodness the sweetcorn behind the beans is still standing upright. We did escape very lightly compared to other people that we saw on the news, it seemed to get worse as it crossed the country.


Still standing upright with lots of nice cobs forming on the 9 plants that we have, it won’t be long before we are able to enjoy them.

Silver Washed Fritillary

I spoke too soon in yesterday’s post when I said I hadn’t seen any Silver Washed Fritillary butterflies. Having a wander in the front garden today and examining all the butterfly plants I saw this beauty on the Eupatorium. It is a large butterfly, about 4 inches from wing tip to wing tip, I’m so glad I was in the garden at just the right moment!

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28 Responses to Beans, Butterflies and Bertha update!

  1. debsgarden says:

    I have never before seen a Silver Washed Fritillary, though we have other fritillaries here. It is a magnificent butterfly! I also admire your corn! I tried to grow corn once, and it was a failure. Now that I know more about growing veggies, perhaps I will try agin. Nothing tastes better than just picked sweet corn!

    • Pauline says:

      I agree Deb, the taste of fresh sweetcorn is soooo good!
      In spite of the high wind and rain today, there were lots of butterflies flitting about the garden, with me dashing around with my camera!

  2. Cathy says:

    How lovely to see one after all Pauline! Good to hear you didn’t have too much damage and the beans weren’t actually uprooted.

    • Pauline says:

      I was amazed to see the Silver Washed Fritillary this morning Cathy. I don’t know if it had just arrived or if I had missed it the other day, whichever it is, I’m so glad to see it!
      The beans are still ok, even though they are almost lying down, we should still be able to harvest quite a few more.

  3. Chloris says:

    My runner beans are at a weird angle too. But even worse is my apple tree which has been partially uprooted. Let’ s hope it passes over soon. It’ s still very windy here.
    Your butterfly is beautiful, I don’ t think I’ ve ever seen one.

    • Pauline says:

      I hope your apple tree will be ok Chloris, will it need propping up for a while? The beans should be all right, even though they are almost lying down.
      Still very windy today with lots of torrential downpours, but the forecast is better in the next few days, I hope your weather improves too.

  4. Oh that is too bad Pauline to see the hurricane upend the garden….I just saw a fritillary a week ago. Not sure what kind but they are lovely and butterflies love Eupatorium which is native here.

    • Pauline says:

      Fritillaries are such beautiful butterflies aren’t they Donna, it makes me so happy when they visit the garden as they are quite rare over here. The large hybrid Eupatorium is a statuesque plant, it is so large, much larger than the wild one which keeps popping up everywhere, I have to edit those with a firm hand!
      Thanks for leaving a message, I enjoyed looking at your flowers!

  5. Alain says:

    I am glad Bertha’s damage was minor in your garden. Here we have started eating tomatoes but the beans did not do very well this year. I don’t really know why. We will get some but they are late and not numerous.
    I am impressed by your sweet corn. I don’t grow any but all those who do have to set up electrified fencing around it as raccoons will do anything to get to corn. There is nothing they like better.

    • Pauline says:

      We got off very lightly Alain, thank goodness, trees were brought down and floods in other parts of the country made us realise how lucky we were. We have so many beans already in the freezer and a steady supply each day means that maybe we wouldn’t miss them if no more are produced, but I always try to harvest as many as possible!
      Over here, it is Badgers that love sweetcorn, we are lucky in that badgers don’t live in our heavy soil, the next village to us has nice sandy soil for them to dig and make their setts, so they do have trouble with their sweetcorn being eaten.

  6. Christina says:

    Sorry you were hit by the the tail end of the hurricane Pauline, but hopefully you’ll be able to use the last of the beans as you think. What strange weather, but you’ve had a good summer this year and hopefully a good autumn will follow.

    • Pauline says:

      We certainly have had a good summer Christine, will this mean we will have wonderful autumn tints in a couple of months? The garden is a lot calmer this morning, the wind has died right down thank goodness, the plants were still being lashed about yesterday.

  7. Angie says:

    I’m glad to read you didn’t suffer too much at the hands of Bertha Pauline. It could have been a lot worse. We escaped most of it here.
    How lovely to see the silver washed fritillary, isn’t it a beautiful creature. I hope they continue to visit.

    • Pauline says:

      We got off very lightly Angie, it seemed to get worse after it had passed over us. At last the wind has died down and we can start tidying all the leaves and small branches off the lawn.
      The butterfly is beautiful and so large, we were so thrilled when we first saw it in the garden a few years ago and even more delighted to see it each year since then, we must have something that it likes!

  8. Anna says:

    Oh a shame that the beans have toppled Pauline but their position should not affect the crops adversely at this stage. I was holding my breath when I arrived at the allotment this morning in case my wigwams of French beans had been affected but all was well.
    It seems to be a brilliant year for sweetcorn. Hope that you have some butter in readiness. The Silver Washed Fritillary is a beauty. Have never seen one in these parts.

    • Pauline says:

      We should be able to harvest quite a few more beans Anna, at least they weren’t uprooted! The sweetcorn will soon be ready, with water boiling and butter ready!
      I think the Silver Washed Fritillary is a butterfly of the woodland edge, that also likes brambles, I think that is why it is happy here.

  9. Frank says:

    I’m glad to hear you’ve made it through relatively untouched. I bet you’ll have a second harvest from your beans that’s better than the first!
    That is quite a nice butterfly, I’m glad you got to see it.

    • Pauline says:

      I think the beans are slowing down Frank, I hope so, because we haven’t much more room in the freezer for many more!
      I love all the butterflies flying around the garden, and get quite excited when we see an unusual one, I should be used to the Silver Washed Fritillary as it has been coming for a few years now, but it is always good to see it again.

  10. pbmgarden says:

    Sorry Bertha upset your beans (which look perfectly delicious by the way). Hurricanes can really do some damage. The Silver Washed Fritillary is a beauty.

    • Pauline says:

      Lots of people were worse off than us Susie, with floods and trees blown over further inland. The beans are fine and growing nicely thank you.
      I love all our butterflies, but it is good when we get a special one visiting.

  11. Helle (Helen) says:

    Good to hear your garden survived the storm, here it stormed like mad last night, but most things are standing up semi-straight again. Ah, the fritillary is actually not that rare here, but as I only see it in the forest I didn’t think of it in my last comment. They are wonderful, aren’t they. And so big, I was really astonished the first time I saw one. Your garden does sound like a great place for butterflies, and birds and dormice 🙂 –

    • Pauline says:

      I think the storm has finally left us, no strong winds today Helle, thank goodness. I think we only get the fritillary here because of the woodland and its habitat is restricted to the south coast. I have tried to make the garden wildlife friendly and I think by the numbers of birds, mammals, invertebrates and insects we have that I must be doing something right.

  12. Cathy says:

    You must be relieved to have missed the worst of the storms, and even your beans have got off relatively lightly if the stems aren’t damaged. We have only had a couple of meals from ours, although ours are climbing French beans – but I don’t give them much attention so that’s probably all we deserve! Your sweetcorn looks promising too. What an amazingly huge butterfly you spotted – no need for me to look out for this one if it’s so localised!

    • Pauline says:

      We were so lucky Cathy, it could have been so much worse. Exeter was flooded again, the drains just can’t cope when there is so much rain. My French beans were a disaster, I think we had 6, 3 each! We are looking forward to our sweetcorn, that is always a treat.
      I think with global warning, we will be getting more butterflies hopping over from France and maybe ones that are only found on the south coast will move northwards, you never know!

  13. Peter/Outlaw says:

    Sorry to hear about your bean damage but glad that it was comparatively minor.

    • Pauline says:

      It was minor compared to other people Peter, but whatever comes across the Atlantic always seems to get dumped on the SW corner of Britain first!

  14. wellywoman says:

    Sorry to see the damage caused by Bertha. It seems unusual to get such high winds at this time of year. At least it wasn’t more serious. We’re drowning in beans at the moment and there’s no more room in the freezer. 😉

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Liz, I think we have reached saturation point where beans are concerned! We were lucky it wasn’t worse, other peoples fairly near had it much worse unfortunately.

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