Sunday, 5 August 2012

North West to the South Downs - summer sea shore plants

Where better to spend the summer than by the sea...

Being from Cumbria we try and get back to Barrow-in-Furness as often as we can to see family and enjoy the peace beauty of Walney Island.

In season at present are the seed pods of Sea Kale.  quite rare in the south these days with the erosion of pebble beaches, but abundant all along the Lancs and Cumbria coasts of Morecambe Bay.

Another stunning plant at this time of year is Sea Holly.  but this is quite a rare plant these days, and the only part of it historically edible were the roots.  so on both counts, this should be left alone, but enjoyed for it's beauty. 

Back down south, we skipped down from the North Downs to the South Downs above Beachy Head.

Amazing that 350 miles makes such a difference to the coastal climate, from blustery wet north, to semi arid, almost Mediterranean south facing chalk downs, we get herbs. the wonderfully fragrant wild thyme, as well as large swathes of marjoram/oregano - all 3 now in flower so easily recognisable.

Herbs which are perfect to add to something robust and creamy like cauliflower gratin with home grown cauli's and freshly picked home made garlic.

Wherever you travel this summer, have a great holiday, and don't forget the scissors, and foraging bags.


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