I've been growing a number of plants alongside my runner beans this year as the beginnings of my intended perennial vegetable garden.
The star attraction was a perennial salad plant - siberian purslane. The theory is that this is
easily grown from seed, enjoys a shady spot with any type of soil and tastes nice and mild, so
can make up a bulk salad ingredient. Year round. It is also said to
make good ground cover and so should be very useful as a weed
suppressant. I was understandably very excited to give this one a go. I
ordered my seeds and once they arrived, eagerly skipped off down the
garden to gently scatter them in their spot - two neat rows of seed sown
between my rows of runner beans. And then I waited and waited. And
waited a bit more.
Eventually a few plants poked their little heads up.
Well I'm happy if I get just a few - they're said to self seed readily,
so they should spread around in time. I carefully nurtured these little plants, regularly clearing away any weeds, giving them a grass clipping mulch from time to time.
It tasted vile.
The marigolds looked great though in amongst this disappointing polyculture. They'd self seeded in along with some lovely chamomile plants and some red orache. I got salad leaves from that at least, even if its season isn't all that long. And wild orache also turned up. So annual plants made a good appearance and cheered up the whole bed rather nicely.