Race to the finish line as green-fingered Tube staff grow for gold

25 July 2012
"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."

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.

Visual impact

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.

Pleasant travelling

'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:

Jubilee line
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

Northern line
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  

Piccadilly line
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 

District line 
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 

Metropolitan line
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  

Bakerloo line
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   

Central line
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

 Victoria line
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