Along fences by the tracks and almost any patch of waste ground, you will notice the long slender clumps of flowers, usually lilac but also blue, deeper purple or white at the end of long, arching branches.
BBC weather forecaster Peter Gibbs says the mild wet winter will have improved germination and growth this year, especially in areas where water normally drains away quickly, such as derelict urban sites. “Buddleja is an opportunist that’s always ready to capitalise on any slight advantage.”
Sprouting from seemingly every derelict building, it stakes an increasingly plausible claim for the title of Britain’s national flower.