The garden at Acton Town station
September 21, 2023
The garden on a disused platform of Acton Town London Underground station has won another award.
It took the Cultivated Station Garden prize in this year’s ‘In Bloom’ competition run by Transport for London (TfL). The has been transformed by station staff into a riot of colour, growing plants in a variety of recycled containers. Sculptures and wind chimes enhance the sensory elements of the garden.
In 2022, garden won the "Best Environment Entry" award in the same competition which celebrates the hard work and dedication of TfL staff who create and maintain beautiful gardens at stations and depots across London.
‘In Bloom’ sees green-fingered TfL staff dedicate their own free time each year to create gardens at stations, depots, and offices, often in collaboration with local people and businesses. The competition launched more than 100 years ago at the time of the District Railway, and over the decades staff have made creative use of space on the transport network with flower beds, vegetable patches, hanging baskets and window boxes on platforms, balconies and in spaces as small as control room windows. The theme for this year’s competition was ‘Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Earth,’ in recognition of the increasing threats from climate change.
There were 57 entries from across the TfL network, judged by more than 40 volunteers, with the winners for 2023 were announced at an awards ceremony at City Hall.
The Northfields Train Crew Accommodation (TCA), where drivers take their breaks while on shift won the Environment prize. The garden is designed around sustainability, with water butts to collect rainwater and compost bins. Most of the garden has been grown from seed or created from cuttings, and has been developed year after year.
Best Newcomer went to the Hammersmith Service Control Centre. In just a few months, a group of staff overhauled a disused area behind the building to create multiple planters and a gathering area for colleagues. The project brought the team together, introducing staff who work different shifts and wouldn’t otherwise meet.
Almost a third of TfL’s circa 6,000-acre estate is covered by green vegetation, with a wide variety of habitats, from woodlands to wetlands, that support more than 1,000 animal species and almost 700 plant species.
Mark Evers, TfL’s Chief Customer Officer, said: “As a judge in our fiercely contested In Bloom competition, I am always so impressed by the fresh ideas, creativity and energy that staff and local people and businesses bring to these gardens, benefitting both staff and people travelling around the city. While the gardens bring an element of tranquillity, inviting Londoners to slow down and savour a moment in nature, this year’s theme reflects the increasing urgency of tackling climate change, and the pace at which we are working as an organisation towards a cleaner, greener transport network.”
Seb Dance, Deputy Mayor for Transport, said, “I am truly impressed by the dedication and creativity demonstrated by TfL staff at the annual ‘In Bloom’ competition. These gardens will bring a sense of calm and wellbeing to staff and people using the transport network.”
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