This Disused Northern Line Platform Has Been Transformed Into A Garden

By Charlotte Maughan Jones Last edited 16 months ago
This Disused Northern Line Platform Has Been Transformed Into A Garden
A disused tube station platform is filled with a variety of plants and flowers which can be seen to the right. To the left is an empty tube carriage parked at the station.
You'd be forgiven for thinking you were in a cottage garden rather than on a zone 4 platform. Image: TfL/Eleanor Bentall

A disused platform at Morden station has been repurposed into a rail-side garden popping with hot pink orchids, potatoes hot peppers and plums.

Tony Samuel, TfL's customer service manager at the south London station, has put a lot of time, effort (and expert gardening skills) into the transformation — and it's paid off. As the floral scent wafts by, you'd be forgiven for thinking you were stood in a cottage garden rather than on a zone 4 platform.

Two members of staff sit at a table in a garden on a platform at Morden
The displays hope to "make travelling more welcoming and pleasant for customers." Image: TfL/Eleanor Bentall

Elsewhere on the network, TfL employees have risen to the challenge, by transforming other disused spaces and forgotten corners of their stations into mini ecosystems of flourishing flora and fauna.

Staff at the Seven Kings Elizabeth line station station have brightened up the place with planters at the entrance and corridors — plus large plots on the platform.

The London Overground platform at Highbury & Islington has been installed with a Bee Friendly Trust planter, which honours a local flower seller who worked outside the station for years.

A woman and her child stop to look at a floral display in front of the ticket office at Highbury and Islington station. The display has a green foliage as a background, with the word "Highbury" depicted in brightly coloured flowers. The display is surrounded by a small white picket fence
The indoor garden at Highbury and Islington station. Image: TfL/Eleanor Bentall

Earlier in 2022, TfL established other community gardens with the Bee Friendly Trust at Northfields, Wimbledon Park, High Barnet and Upton Park.

As well as creating hospitable environments for bees and insects, TfL says the gardens will help "make travelling more welcoming and pleasant for customers."

They'll also all be entered into In Bloom — TfL's annual staff gardening competition. Entrants will be judged based on several categories, such a 'best indoor garden' and 'best community garden', with winners announced at on 22 September.

The entrance to Seven Kings tube station is seen with 4 planters full of colourful flowers and plants. Two people are seen walking into the station in the background, with a further two walking away from it.
Brightening up the entrance to Seven Kings station. Image: TfL/Eleanor Bentall

Many of TfL's staff keep mini gardens at the stations, switching out plants with the seasons. The London Underground network itself has a long history of flaunting its green credentials, from the first gardening competition launched over 100 years ago by the District Railway company, to the gnomes keeping watch over the station at Cockfosters and the 2017 terrarium-in-a-ticket-office at St James' Park station.

A smiling man is stood tending to a tree laden with ripe plums. In the background, a tube sign with "Morden" written on it can be see behind an abundance of plants
Cottage garden, or zone 4 tube station? Image: TfL/Eleanor Bentall

While you're out on the tube and train this summer, why not see how many TfL gardens you can spot?

Last Updated 09 August 2022

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