dig for victory
Community gardening on London’s transport network is far from a new idea. There are records of Station Garden Competitions pre-dating the first World War.
There are records of Station Garden Competitions predating the first World War. During the second World War, London’s train stations were fully involved in the ministry of Agriculture’s Dig For Victory campaign, producing food all year round with the support of local communities. This was not just a matter of necessity for the war effort. The prestige of the Garden Competitions was still enough to get Londoners pitching in between the air-raids. In true British tradition, the judging panels and prize ceremonies continued to take place right through the war.
London Transport Railway Employees' Horticultural Society held a flower and vegetable show, with competitions in cake-making, wildflowers, potato scones, jams and jellies and more. The station gardens, which were maintained by staff in their free time, were also judged and awarded prizes based on flowers and vegetables, colours and arrangements.
The three practices used to improve station gardens were choosing the right flowers for the whole season, grouping plants with forethought and taste, and keeping vegetables and flowers separate. The combination of these three qualities is what led Ladbroke Grove's garden to be the best garden on the Metropolitan line in 1945, with the word 'Peace' in red white and blue. The District and Northern lines had winners as well, with a rose arch and various vegetables.
Energy Garden is supporting the communities that surround the stations to be able to re-invigorate this part of London’s heritage. From engagement to build, we are providing local people with the means to renew the community spirit that was once such a fundamental part of our railways.