It's still out of bounds to passengers, but a disused platform at Barbican is now a haven for plants, trees and wildlife. Volunteers at Friends of City Gardens have spent the past few days transforming the abandoned space into a verdant and eye-catching strip.
A series of planters contain small trees, shrubs and flowers specially chosen to grow in a shadowy environment. Green is the predominant colour, interspersed with TfL-red poles. As the spring advances, however, expect to see an increase in blossom and inflorescence.
The plants include a number of species beloved of pollinating insects, adding to a growing local flora that also includes an expansive set of new flower beds inside the Barbican complex itself (part of a different project). In addition, a couple of planters at the western end will be used to grow vegetables for the station staff. The scheme is financed by sponsors Kingston Smith, Hamptons International and Redrow London.
The former Thameslink platform closed in 2009 and has since languished as nothing more than a dreary advertising space. The new garden will remain in place for around 18 months before Crossrail works will force the dispersal of the planters to other City locations. It is hoped that the garden will be open to the public on Open Garden Squares weekend (13-14 June). Otherwise, you can volunteer to help maintain the garden, or simply admire it from the neighbouring platform.