The beach could have been on the edge of the world. The embankment that prevents the dunes invading the city front gives the beach an isolated feel quite close to the centre. When I walked through the gap onto the fine golden sand I immediately felt it was one of those near perfect mornings. Few people, no wind, warm sun and the tide was in – always an unanticipated bonus in Swansea.
I’m never stop being intrigued by the range of wildflowers on the nutrient-poor dunes. Here are two: one looks like an introduced alien, with its ‘baked bean’ coloured berries against silver-grey foliage, it is sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) and is in fact a native of here, and the rest of northern Europe coasts. The familiar evening primrose (Oenothera sp.) is such a long-term guest from North America that many assume it’s a native.
- Evening Primrose (Oenothera sp.). Photo: Mr Edible.
Inedible Swansea? Well, they do have interesting medicinal associations (past and present), but I felt sure one could do something in the kitchen with sea buckthorn – damn it there was so much of it just on my doorstep. Eventually I found a recipe for sea buckthorn jam, sounds like an injunction to attend a ‘70s folk-rock group gig but it is an edible possibility.