Welcome to Abbey Gardens, a community garden in West Ham
surrounding part of the ruins of a
12th century abbey.

There are free garden club sessions and new gardeners are always welcome. The garden is open to visitors from dawn till dusk.


In the garden:

  • December 5, 2015 2:00 pmFriends of Abbey Garden Monthly Meeting
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Abbey Gardens Winter Fest


Abbey Gardens Winter Fest
A free event for all ages
Saturday 5th December 3pm-6pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF (next to Abbey Road DLR station)

soap-making workshop
make a festive wreath

celebrate the season with us:
music and carol singing
soups, hot drinks and seasonal bakes
seasonal cards, gifts and produce

All activities are free. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Graphics kindly donated by Lydia Thornley and Catherine French.

We are looking for a new Garden Club Leader

garden club leader

The search has began for a new Garden Club Leader. If you know of anyone or if you are interested in applying you can download the Job Description and application details here ->

Job Description and application form for the position of Garden Club Leader at Abbey Gardens

Please help us share and circulate!

Gathering in

AGblog_storing and making

We grow things… and then there’s the gathering-in: the harvest, the storage and the knowledge.

We’ve packed our potatoes away out of the light and put tomatoes out to ripen. Some of us have been at the garden and others out to the Newham Community Gardens Network event at the lovely East Ham Nature Reserve, where we’ve compared notes with people from other garden projects and taken part in a Cordwainers Grow flax workshop.

So what’s next? To help shape our plans for the future, come along to our monthly meeting on Saturday 7 November at 2pm. And there’s our Winter celebration on Saturday 5 December – more information coming soon.

Meanwhile, there’s plenty of gardening still to do, with garden club sessions continuing through the month. So come along, get active and help prepare and plant for our next gardening year.

What will the harvest be?


This week’s guest host at the Saturday garden club session has been Nina Pope of artist/film-makers Somewhere, who designed the garden as the horticultural and social project ‘What Will The harvest Be?‘.

There’s been lots of weeding, composting, mulching and we’ve harvested vegetables and flowers to share amongst the day’s volunteers.

And we’ve had visitors – recent arrivals to the area and gardeners passing through.

There’s plenty of gardening still to do this month, before the season finishes on 31 October. On Saturday 7 November, our monthly meeting will be a review of the year and a look forward: a chance for everyone interested in the garden to contribute feedback, ideas and insight.

And after all of the year’s hard work, there’ll be our Winter celebration to enjoy on Saturday 5 December, from 3pm – 6pm. Come along at 3pm to make a festive wreath to take home or join us from 4pm for music, singing, warming soups and drinks, seasonal bakes and goodies on the honesty stall.

Busy bees, a duck potato and courgette plumbing: just another Saturday at Abbey Gardens


Our volunteers help on all sorts of tasks at our gardening sessions, whether it’s delicate thinning-out or the big digging jobs. And there’s plenty to watch, marvel at and enjoy. So what have we seen this week?

The week’s comedy vegetable: ladies and gents, we present the duck potato
Bees still finding plenty of pollen in the dahlias
The visible ‘plumbing’ in a courgette stalk
The reason why we built such a large cage to protect the purple sprouting broccoli plants (they’re huge)

And we’ve shared a magnificent harvest of beetroot.

A date for your diary: our Winter celebration on Saturday 5 December. Join a festive wreath-making workshop, enjoy the fairylit Winter garden and warm up with soups and hot drinks. More details soon.

Bollywood comes to Bakers Row: Harvest Festival East



All corners of the community have got involved in this year’s Harvest Festival East. We’ve had  dance group Tridhara, led by Showmi Das, showing us harvest dances from Bangladesh, Bollywood dances and getting visitors involved in their workshops. Young people from the National Citizen Service Team Perham have led apple dunking, egg and spoon races – and been first up to join the dancing. Quirky Nature have made their fresh-pressed juices. And congratulations to Freya for winning the apple tart competition!

A big Abbey Gardens thank you to our volunteer chefs, who made delicious quiches, soup and salads, to our bakers and helpers, to Cath French for publicity, to former volunteer Emma for bringing home-grown apples, to garden club leader Hamish for being on hand with gardening wisdom and to all of our garden and behind-the-scenes volunteers who work so hard to make Abbey Gardens the beautiful place it is.

Our next event will be our Winter Celebration on Saturday 5 December.



Harvest Festival East: Saturday 26 September


Harvest Festival East
Saturday 26th September 2015 1pm-4pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF (next to Abbey Road DLR station)
A free event for all ages

Come and enjoy a celebration of the year’s gardening, with contributions from all corners of our community:

Young people from the National Citizen Service, Team Perham, will be leading apple dunking and other activities

Think you’ve got the perfect apple tart recipe? Show us your finest in the apple tart competition!

Tour the garden with garden club leader Hamish Liddle and find out about some of the experimental crops we’ve been growing this year

Enjoy home-baked goodies at our ever-popular tea and cake stall

Quirky Nature will present a quirky gang of tasty fresh-pressed juices using organic ingredients mostly from Abbey Gardens. Come and meet Peter Green, Jack Ginger, Mary Roots among other unique personified recipes

Buy fresh produce on our honesty stall

Music, dancing and a fun workshop will be provided by Bollywood Dance Group, Tridhara

Enjoy seasonal food made by Tom Fletcher of Rejuce using harvest from the garden

All activities are free. Food, drink and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Event graphics kindly donated by Catherine French.

Garden curiosities and event excitement


Horseradish. It’s something you don’t really think about as a plant if you’re used to buying it in jars of sauce. But that’s community gardening for you, full of curiosities. This year, we’ve grown an upright variety of red amaranth, a sort of short-haired version of the glorious trailing dreadlocks of Amaranthus Caudatus. And our black tomatoes, strange fruit to start with, are giving us all sorts of novelty shapes. Teapot in need of a handle or cartoon character’s head? We can’t quite decide.

Thinking of growing your own? Community gardening is a great way to gather skills and ideas. Come and see us on Edible Gardens Open Day, Saturday 19 September. Our garden club session will be running from 10am to 4pm so you can see us in action and find out how to get involved.

Our next event: Harvest Festival East, Saturday 26 September, 1pm-4pm. Save the date for a celebration of all things grown and local, a free event for all ages. It’s part of Urban Food Fortnight. More information soon!


Honesty, comfrey and comedy veg


Pluto or Gromit? We can’t decide. Either way, finding comedy vegetables in the harvest is one of the fun bits in growing your own.

There are stories too and saving Honesty seeds Chris got us chatting about grandparents who always seemed to have a vase of dried Honesty in their homes.

And each session, there’s always a plant we see that we’ve looked at many times but never noticed something beautiful about and this week, it’s Charlie’s comfrey. We love the elegant, forked stem.

Curious about how the garden grows? Next Saturday at 2pm it’s our monthly meeting, where you can find out what goes on behind the scenes. And of course, there’s our usual garden club session from 10am – 2pm.

Save the date: our Harvest Festival, Saturday 26 September 1pm – 4pm. Watch this space for more information…


Visitors, volunteers and a sunhat Saturday


Sunhats at the ready, the first task this Saturday has been  – er – to look at the compost… But this is speedy compost! We’re very excited about the success in just a few days from our hard work last Saturday chopping up and layering.

There’s been hard work in the abbey gatehouse ruin too: a team of corporate volunteers from the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) has revealed the outlines in crisp detail – so if you’re a history buff, now’s a great time to come and have a look. Thank-you, volunteers!

We’ve had visitors: gardener and inventor Charlie swung by with some sprout seedlings (if you’ve been enjoying the vivid purple Morning Glory flowers along the fence, Charlie planted them); Russ, former Abbey Gardens volunteer, gardening pro and part of First Avenue Urban Wilderness cycled in for a chat and we’ve had new visitors come and say hello.

And just as we were clearing-away, a spectacular winged visitor: a Silver Y moth.

Gardening is full of surprises.