Friday, 15 April 2016

the quiet dignity of the train station planter

I got to the train station ten minutes early through allowing for roadworks which were no longer there and found myself at a loose end, briefly. The train station in question (Oxford) is current planned for redevelopment but this process is still in the wildly speculative stage; in the meantime the station has settled into minimal maintenance mode. Everything is kept working, but nothing improves. It has entered the phase of ticking over and waiting for the next thing.

Under such circumstances, bold and brilliant floral displays are perhaps contraindicated; and it is maybe no surprise that the station has become the preserve of the drought-resistant, low-maintenance planter.

lost a slat Planting overview

Here it is, pictured with an experimental decaf cappuccino which had failed to hold my attention. You can see that someone perhaps sat on the side, or maybe put too much weight on a slat while doing up a shoelace. The tough herbs are woody with winter, and also look like someone might have used them as a cushion. Two thymes, rosemary and a tough, low-growing lonerica are tussling for dominance. In here, only the strong survive.

woody thyme two butts

The last round of painting extended to the thyme stems, and nestled in a position which would once have been subtle but which is now exposed by the removed slat, two cigarette butts commemorate shared rebellion (the Strictly No Smoking Allowed sign is two steps away, on the station wall). Apple cores and teabags perhaps mark the kind of litterer who thinks anything organic is just fertiliser, or maybe reflect the fact that finding the bin (seven steps away on the station wall) is just too much challenge so late at night, so early in the morning.

apple core teabagged

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