I grew up in an industrial part of England, where the train line from where I lived to the main town in the region ran through steel and petrochemical works. It was never a pretty sight and I generally felt quite glum on these journey.
I have no idea if there was any vegetation along the side of the tracks but doubtless I wouldn’t have noticed.
Today, on a train journey to Birmingham, however, the observations were altogether different. True, I didn’t see any blast furnaces but there was plenty of rust and a pervading sense of shabbiness.
On the other hand, I was struck by the silver birches and buddleia as we whizzed past. They weren’t in their full glory but I can imagine how pretty they will look later in the year. (There was even a buddleia – or a plant that looked like one – growing out of the bricks of a building.)
And once again, I could only drool at the branches which had been chopped and were lying on the banks by the railway line. I wonder what will happen to them?