London train stations go green with pocket gardens
Many London stations are getting a makeover as the annual Transport for London (TfL) staff gardening competition opens.
TfL station staff have transformed quiet corners and disused platforms into creative green spaces with various flowers and vegetables growing to brighten up the stations, which in addition to improving the station environment also encourages the flora and fauna and makes travel more welcoming and pleasant for customers and their colleagues.
TfL’s annual staff gardening competition, ‘In Bloom’, is where entrants are judged on categories including indoor garden, fruit and veg, hanging baskets, tubs and window baskets.
The idea that staff could grow plants in stations dates back to the early days of the Tube, and the District line was the first to officially encourage its staff to take pride in its stations and gardens by providing funds that staff could use to buy seeds and plants. The district also established a contest around 1910 to judge the best displays.
With the competition still on, customers can expect a range of stations across the capital to get involved – whether it’s elaborate platform planters at stations like Acton Town or the West Kensington tube station or smart uses of interior spaces at Arnos Grove, Vauxhall and Cannon Street tube stations.
Staff at Morden Tube Station have transformed the disused platform into a platform garden, which bears fruit and vegetables – from cherries and potatoes to hot peppers and plums.
Daniel Holah, TfL’s customer service manager at Morden Tube Station, said: “Tony has transformed a disused part of the station which needed to be brightened up. He has managed to do this both through his incredible gardening skills which bring color and life with his plants and flowers and also by creating Morden’s own wellness area where staff can go and relax. relax and have free time while on duty. Tony put a lot of time and effort into this project and he was highly appreciated by his colleagues and the many clients who gave positive feedback on Tony’s work.
Elsewhere, staff at the Seven Kings Elizabeth line station have made their station greener by adding planters at the entrance to the station, corridors and large plots on the platform. They have made it a community effort by involving the youth of the community in caring for the plants.
TfL has also created community gardens with the Bee Friendly Trust this year at Northfields, Wimbledon Park, High Barnet and Upton Park tube stations. The London Overground platform at Highbury & Islington station also has a Bee Friendly Trust planter honoring a local flower vendor who had been outside the station for many years.
The full list of entrants for the annual Station Garden Contest is not yet closed, but here are the stations that have entered so far that have Station Gardens to visit.
- London Norwood Junction Underground Station
- Abbey Wood Elizabeth line station
- Fairlop Tube Station
- Vauxhall Underground Station
- Rectory Road Underground Station London
- Blackhorse Road Tube Station
- Boston Manor Subway Station
- West Kensington Tube Station
- Cannon Street Tube Station
- Highbury and Islington tube station
- Arnos Grove Station
- Arsenal metro station
- Warwick Ave Tube Station
- Tufnell Park Underground Station
Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “We encourage all customers to look for these cheerful and colorful additions at stations the next time you use the public transport network.