After a night of tumultuous storms, Saturday, the day of our friend Karen’s annual beach hut party, dawned bright and fresh. We made our way to Whitstable on the train and, by way of Regent Street, to the town centre. En route we passed a low brick wall adorned with hessian sacks crammed full of geraniums. The gardener had chosen varieties with gaily patterned leaves, such as ‘Mrs Pollock’, a zonal pelargonium.
I rather liked this rustic, inexpensive approach to garden decoration.
In Harbour Street, the fluttering heart of this chichi seaside town, I always stop to admire the narrow plots in front of a row of weatherboarded holiday cottages. They’ve be laid out in the prairie style with grasses, heleniums, Verbena bonariensis and Cephalaria gigantea (in the foreground).
Visiting this stretch of the Kent coast for the first time, Helen of Oz struggled with the concept of a pebbly beach. In Australia a beach is only a beach if it’s sandy. To add insult to injury there were ‘weeds’ on the foreshore: plants we consider to be wild flowers. Even my pointing out of a yellow horned poppy, Glaucium flavum, failed to impress.
Whitstable’s beach is not backed by a fringe of palms or thick eucalyptus forest, but by beach huts and industrial buildings. I rather like this reminder that there’s something gritty behind Whitstable’s facade of fancy shops and restaurants. As the day drew longer I could sense a certain warmth developing between Whitstable and our friend from Oz.
We strode out into the Thames estuary following a long gravel spit uncovered by the receding tide and admired the kind of sunset that Turner would have been glad to paint. The sky had the quality of marbled glass lit from behind. On one thing we were both agreed – it was a fitting end to a delightful afternoon.
10 comments On "Afternoon Delight"
What a beautiful sky! We’re headed to the beach soon, but I might stick with the pool and hot tub this year, as North and South Carolina are both having a much higher than normal number of shark attacks this summer.
Yikes! You can do without that to worry about when you’re on holiday!
Beautiful beautiful beautiful sunset photo …
Thank you Janne. It was a lovely moment.
I love that you included the geraniums. I know a few gardeners who scorn them as something too common. But that’s really what I like about them . . . kind of like a simple cheese sandwich.
All plants have their place and these geraniums certainly have. In our recently acquired new garden several have survived months (including winter) without care or much water, which makes them pretty special in my book.
Such an ‘experience’ – no hot or squelchy sand between my toes, no colourful beach towels moulded to baking white sands, no brightly coloured beach umbrellas to keep the sun at bay, and hardly a hat to be seen!!! So strange, but a super day, with wonderful company and a stunning sunset! A trip to the ‘beach’ that I will never forget. Thanks FG for such a memorable experience. Helen from OZ,,,,
Love the sunset, but think I love the beach hut photos more!
Love the colourful beach huts – reminiscent of when I lived in Norfolk and visited Wells-next-the-Sea – and the pretty gardens in front of the weatherboard cottages. Jolly times at the English seaside – lovely post!