Fruit and veg sprout up all over the Tube

28 July 2011
"It is fantastic that these talented London Underground staff have created these horticultural delights bursting with flowers, fruit and veg and all done by volunteering in their spare time."

It is fantastic that these talented London Underground staff have created these horticultural delights bursting with flowers, fruit and veg and all done by volunteering in their spare time.

As part of this year's annual Underground in Bloom competition employees have been tending corn on the cob at Northolt, runner beans at Greenford and strawberries at Hampstead - with all this green-fingered work done in their own time.

Entries for the fruit and veg category - which was launched last year as part of the Mayor's Capital Growth programme to encourage organisations and communities to grow their own produce - have doubled this summer. Beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, broad beans, cucumbers, chillies, peanuts and mint are just some of the mouth-watering treats that staff have been nurturing at stations.

As well as cultivating edible produce staff have been adding colour to stations with a variety of flowers and plants for customers to enjoy.

Beautiful blooms have sprung up on platforms at Croxley, near the station exit at North Acton and in a car park at Perivale transforming these busy urban environments into lush oases.

The categories, which include hanging baskets, tubs and best overall garden are currently being judged, with the awards evening taking place on 7 September at City Hall.

Judges will give extra points to 'greener' gardens that use water wisely or recycle.

For example some stations, such as Hampstead, have a wormery bin which provides rich environmentally-friendly liquid fertilizer to help plants grow, while North Acton has used old wooden train sleepers to create flower beds.

Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said: 'I want to bring the best of the village into the city and a well-tended local station is a quintessential feature of this vision.

'It is fantastic that these talented London Underground staff have created these horticultural delights bursting with flowers, fruit and veg and all done by volunteering in their spare time.

'I'd like to congratulate everybody who has worked hard to transform these stations, adding a splash of colour to the daily commute of passengers. They are a credit to this city and their efforts will help ensure London is looking amazing when we welcome the world in 2012.'

Howard Collins, Chief Operating Officer for London Underground, said: 'I'm really proud that our staff have spent so much of their own time making our Tube stations brighter places for our customers. 

'The effort that has gone into creating these beautiful oases proves just how much London Underground staff care about their customers and colleagues.

'With so many impressive entries I think it's going to be a difficult decision for the judges to choose the winners this year.'

Over 70 stations, depots and service control rooms have entered the competition.


Editor's notes

  • Capital Growth is a partnership initiative between London Food Link, the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, and the Big Lottery's Local Food Fund. It is championed by the Chair of the London Food Board Rosie Boycott and aims to create 2012 new community food growing spaces across London by the end of 2012. Capital Growth offers practical help, grants, training and support to groups wanting to establish community food growing projects as well as advice to landowners. Capital Growth is also working with large organisations such as Transport for London and British Waterways along with borough food growing programmes such as Edible Islington
  •  The Tube is undergoing a huge and essential programme to upgrade its ageing infrastructure - vital to cope with a growing population and to support the economic development and growth of the capital and the UK. This includes the introduction of new track and signalling and the rebuilding of some of our most important stations. By the end of the current programme there will be 30 per cent more capacity. This will inevitably result in some disruption for passengers, but TfL is working hard to provide information and alternative travel options. The work is essential to provide for London's growing transport needs now, and into the future. TfL is urging all Londoners and Tube, London Overground, London Tramlink and DLR passengers to "check before you travel" at weekends, allowing extra journey time where necessary. Weekend travel news is available at tfl.gov.uk
  • The stations below have entered the following categories in the 2011 Underground in Bloom competition.

Jubilee line
1. Neasden - Best newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
2. Willesden Green - Cultivated Garden
3. Dollis Hill -  Tubs 
4. St. John's Wood - Cultivated Garden
5. Kilburn - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Tubs
6. West Hampstead - Best Newcomer, Tubs

Northern line
7. Finchley Central - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
8. West Finchley - Best Newcomer
9. East Finchley - Tubs
10. Highgate - Hanging baskets
11. Colindale - Cultivated Garden
12. Totteridge & Whetstone - Hanging Baskets
13. High Barnet - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
14. Mill Hill East - Best Newcomer, Hanging Baskets
15. Brent Cross - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg
16. Hendon Central - Cultivated Garden
17. Hampstead - Fruit and Veg
18. Old Street - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg
19. Golders Green - Best Newcomer, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
20. Clapham North - Hanging Baskets

Piccadilly line
21. Cockfosters - Hanging baskets, Tubs
22. Arnos Grove depot - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Basket, Tubs
23. Sudbury Town - Cultivated Garden
24. Northfields - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
25. Acton Town - Cultivated Garden, Tubs

District line 
26. Southfields - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
27. Putney Bridge - Fruit and Veg, Tubs
28. East Putney - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
29. Wimbledon Park - Hanging Baskets
30. West Brompton - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
31. Parsons Green - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
32. West Kensington - Cultivated Garden
33. Bromley-by-Bow - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
34. Barking - Hanging Baskets, Tubs

Metropolitan line
35. Croxley - Hanging Baskets
36. Watford - Fruit and Veg
37. Rickmansworth - Tubs
38. West Harrow - Best Newcomer
39. Northwood Hills - Cultivated Garden
40. Preston Road - Cultivated Garden, Tubs

Circle & Hammersmith lines
41. South Kensington - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
42. Edgware Road - Tubs
43. Goldhawk Road - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
44. Bayswater - Hanging Baskets, Tubs

Bakerloo line
45. Maida Vale - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
46. Marylebone - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
47. Warwick Avenue - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Tubs
48. Elephant and Castle - Best Newcomer, Tubs

Central line
49. Newbury Park - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
50. Theydon Bois - Cultivated Garden
51. Chigwell - Best Newcomer, Hanging Basket, Tubs
52. Roding Valley - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
53. Greenford - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
54. Northolt - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
55. Perivale - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
56. East Acton - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
57. North Acton - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
58. Leytonstone - Best Newcomer

Victoria line
59. Tottenham Hale - Fruit and Veg, Tubs
60. Seven Sisters Depot - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Tubs