Day 98: sea kale

Daily details from the garden to bring you inspiration throughout the year


It appears most unlikely that anything as lush and floriferous as sea kale (Crambe maratima) could grow on the shingle shores of Dungeness, but it seems to like it here. In April, shrivelled brown stems lying prone upon the beach are tentatively putting out the first pioneering leaves – deep purple (no smoke on these waters), rather than the glaucous grey-green of the fully-grown foliage. It takes me by surprise – partly because I’d forgotten the initial colouring, and partly because the beach looks as though someone has over-enthusiastically opened one of those oddly fragile plastic bags which the supermarkets insist on using to package large, leafy veg – the ones that explode over the kitchen just as you approach the fridge (that’ll learn me for not growing my own). The plants will soon bulk up, but they’ll always seem slightly incredible in this space.

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Hello! I’m Andrew, gardener, writer, photographer, and owner of a too-loud laugh, and I’m so pleased you’ve found your way to Gardens, weeds & words. You can read a more in-depth profile of me on the About page, or by clicking this image.