Brent’s underground stations are blooming marvellous

Commuters can enjoy picking fruit and veg

Tube stations in Brent are battling it out to grow the best fruit and vegetables on their platforms.

As part of this year’s Underground in Bloom competition, employees and community groups are tending to corn-on-the-cob, growing runner beans and even strawberries in the stations.

Kilburn now has its very own allotment, which was set up with the help of Transition Town Kensal to Kilburn, a Brent environmental group.

Transition member Michael Stuart, 50, of Christchurch Avenue, Kilburn, said: “Kilburn had four beds which were empty and full of weeds.

“We thought it would be a great space to use to grow fruit and veg and show people just how easy it is.

“The staff help to water the plants everyday.”

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Kilburn station now has an apple tree, strawberries, herbs including chives and basil, peppers, artichokes, a kiwi plant and tomatoes.

Mr Stuart, who began growing plants in the station 10 weeks ago, said: “People can help themselves and pick a few things if they are feeling peckish on their way home.”

Entries for the fruit and vegetable category of Underground in Bloom, which launched this year to encourage organisations to grow their own produce, have doubled this summer.

Beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, broad beans, cucumbers, chillies, peanuts and mint are some of the mouth-watering treats that are being nurtured in stations.

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

Boris Johnson, 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.

“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.”

The categories, which include hanging baskets, tubs and best overall garden, are currently being judged and an awards ceremony will take place on September 7 at City Hall.

Transition Town Kensal to Kilburn is a network of eco-minded people which covers Kensal Green, Kensal Rise, Queen’s Park and Kilburn. It has five allotments and is looking for volunteers to get involved.

They meet at Kilburn Station on the first Sunday of every month at 2pm. To find out more email

Brent’s stations battling it out in this year’s Underground in Bloom competition are:

Neasden - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Hanging Baskets, Tubs

Willesden Green - Cultivated Garden

Dollis Hill - Tubs

Kilburn - Best Newcomer, Fruit and Veg, Tubs

Sudbury Town - Cultivated Garden

Preston Road - Cultivated Garden, Tubs