Race to the finish line as green-fingered Tube staff grow for gold
The annual Underground in Bloom competition is unique in fostering pride among our staff and customers in their stations, with local people regularly providing plant cuttings for our staff to nurture as part of the contest.
London Underground employees have been adding colour to stations by cultivating a range of plants, flowers, herbs and fruit and vegetables across the network, with many adopting a red, white and blue theme to tie in with this year's celebrations.
Tube staff have been tending to courgettes at Neasden, marigolds at Clapham North, chives at Kilburn, sweet potatoes at Greenford and geraniums at Bayswater.
Red, white and blue flowers in hanging baskets adorn the control tower at Stratford Market Depot, visible from the Jubilee Line, and there are even Olympic and Paralympic rings sprouting at High Barnet Depot which are visible from the street.
Judges have just finished casting their eyes over the various categories which include hanging baskets, tubs, cultivated gardens and fruit and veg.
Points are awarded for the visual impact and design, taking into account health, care and choice of plants.
This year's most popular category is 'tubs', where stations must have a minimum of four containers.
Gardeners have had to overcome challenges such as limited space on platforms, the hosepipe ban earlier in the year and then months of heavy rain.
All this hard work is done in the Tube staff's own time.
Howard Collins, Chief Operating Officer for London Underground, said: 'The annual Underground in Bloom competition is unique in fostering pride among our staff and customers in their stations, with local people regularly providing plant cuttings for our staff to nurture as part of the contest.
'It makes me feel very proud to hear that yet again so many staff have taken part in our annual Underground in Bloom competition.
'The effort they have put in has really paid off - the beautiful blooms and greenery give a real lift to Tube stations and make travelling more pleasant for both international visitors and our regular customers.'
The fruit and vegetable category was added in 2010 as part of the Mayor's Capital Growth programme which encourages people to grow their own food.
The Underground in Bloom winners will be announced at an awards evening at City Hall on 19 September.
Notes to editors:
- 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 www.tfl.gov.uk
- Art in Bloom, established in 2007, is part of the Underground in Bloom competition and gives budding artists the opportunity to show off their talents in works that must feature or respond to a specific London Underground garden.
- Pictures will shortly be available from the website www.tflpressgallery.co.uk. Alternatively please contact the Press Office on 0845 604 4141
- The locations below have entered the following categories in the 2012 Underground in Bloom competition:
1. Neasden - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
2. Dollis Hill - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets
3. Canada Water - Cultivated Garden, Art
4. Bermondsey - Tubs
5. West Hampstead - Tubs
6. Kilburn - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg
7. Stratford Market Depot - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs, Art
8. Finchley Central - Cultivated Garden, Tubs, Fruit and Veg
9. West Finchley - Tubs
10. East Finchley - Art, Tubs
11. Highgate - Cultivated Garden, Hanging baskets, Tubs
12. Colindale - Hanging Baskets
13. Totteridge & Whetstone - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
14. High Barnet - Tubs
15. Hendon Central - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg
16. Hampstead - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
17. Golders Green - Hanging Baskets, Fruit and Veg
18. Clapham North - Hanging Baskets
19. Stockwell - Art
20. High Barnet Depot - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
21. Morden Depot - Fruit and Veg, Tubs
22. Kentish Town - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
23. Tufnell Park - Hanging Baskets
24. Cockfosters - Hanging baskets, Tubs
25. Arnos Grove depot - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Basket, Tubs
26. Sudbury Town - Cultivated Garden
27. Northfields - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
28. Acton Town - Tubs, Art
29. Arsenal - Hanging Baskets
30. Putney Bridge - Art
31. West Brompton - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
32. Parsons Green - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
33. Bromley-by-Bow - Hanging Baskets, Tubs, Art
34. Upminster Train Crew Accommodation - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
35. East Ham - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
36. Croxley - Hanging Baskets
37. Watford - Hanging Baskets, Tubs, Art
38. Rickmansworth Depot - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
39. West harrow - Cultivated Garden
40. Northwood Hills - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
41. Harrow-on-the-Hill - Hanging Baskets
42. Rangers Lane - Cultivated Garden
43. Amersham - Tubs
Circle & Hammersmith lines
44. South Kensington - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
45. Edgware Road - Tubs
46. Bayswater - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
47. Barking SSR Depot - Hanging Baskets, Tubs, Art
48. Elephant and Castle - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
49. Oxford Circus - Hanging Baskets
50. Queens Park - Tubs
51. Queens Park Train Depot - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
52. Newbury Park - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
53. Theydon Bois - Cultivated Garden
54. Chigwell - Hanging Basket, Tubs
55. Roding Valley - Cultivated Garden
56. Greenford - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
57. Northolt - Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs, Art
58. Perivale - Tubs, Art
59. East Acton - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets
60. North Acton - Cultivated Garden, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
61. White City Train Crew Accommodation - Hanging Baskets, Tubs
62. Epping - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
63. West Ruislip Train Crew Accommodation - Cultivated Garden, Hanging Baskets, Tubs
64. Bank/Monument - Art
65. Notting Hill Gate - Hanging Baskets
66. Tottenham Hale - Tubs
67. Seven Sisters - Fruit and Veg
68. Northumberland Park Depot - Cultivated Garden, Tubs
69. Osborne House - Tubs
TfL Head Offices
70. Pelham Street - Art
71. SSR Upgrade - Art