Sea Thrift that is, Armaria maritima, also known as sea pinks.
Ireland’s Copper Coast has a lot of it, growing all along the coast on the cliff edges, in rock crevices and stony ground where nothing else grows.
It’s a perennial which has a high drought and salt tolerance, in fact it seems to do best in the driest, most exposed locations, especially along cliff edges.
Older plants will grow larger clumps of leaves and roots.
It’s apparently highly copper tolerant, and flourishes along the Copper Coast, and in fact if the Copper Coast were to have an icon flower it would have to be the thrift, which displays a subtle range of colour from pink to mauve and purple from plant to plant.
Its season is early summer, so the coast is rampant with it at the moment, one of the signs of summer for a south-east open water swimmer, water reaching 10 degrees Celsius, and passing the thrift on the steps down to the Guillamene.
When I think of it, and therefore the photographs I take, are as I most commonly see it, silhouetted against the sea or the sky, framing events in the sea, or faded but still present during the winter, and always standing against the onshore Atlantic winds.
When you can appreciate thrift in such extraordinary scenery, why would you want to trap it in a domestic garden?
It seems I’ve taken a lot of pictures of thrift (there are 98 tagged in my library so far and many more I still want to take, so you can image it was difficult to choose just a few), from early season buds, to summer blooms and late season stragglers to dead winter flowers.
Apparently … I love sea thrift.