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:

  • July 7, 2015 1:00 pmGarden Club
  • July 9, 2015 4:00 pmGarden Club
  • July 11, 2015 10:00 amGarden Club
  • July 14, 2015 1:00 pmGarden Club
  • July 16, 2015 4:00 pmGarden Club
AEC v1.0.4 Click here to see full calendar


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The Abbey Gardens Pétanque tournament


A perfect day for Pétanque, some seasoned players, some newcomers… and our very happy young winners!

Thank you to Jen and Erwan for organising and to Erwan, Dasha and our lemonade stall team for providing cold drinks.

The next Abbey Gardens event will be our Summer Fair on Saturday 25th July, 1pm-4pm. Look out for details here, like us on facebook or follow us on Twitter for more information.


The 2nd Abbey Gardens Pétanque Tournament, Sat 27 June, 3pm, only £2 entry per person


We would like to announce the Second Annual Abbey Gardens Pétanque Tournament, on Saturday 27 June at 3pm in the garden.

Enter now to win the “Bernstein cup” and to help raise funds for the weekly gardening sessions.

Pétanque is the fun, popular summer game (similar to boules) where teams of two throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to the “piglet” (a small wooden ball).

Teams and individuals (who will be paired with other interested parties) can register for the tournament by email. Teams can also be registered in person on the day of the tournament (by 2:30pm).

Entry fee is only £2 per person and all proceeds will go to running the Abbey Gardens weekly gardening sessions. There will also be beverages for sale on the day with proceeds benefiting the garden.

Be the pétanque champion of Abbey Gardens!


Graphics kindly supplied by Catherine French

Open Garden Squares: Saturday 13 June


Many of our volunteers spend more time in the garden than they’d planned – just because Abbey Gardens is a lovely place to be. So come and enjoy the garden with us on Saturday 13 June, the first day of Open Garden Squares Weekend. If you visit between 10am and 4pm you can see our Saturday garden club session in action, chat with our volunteers and get expert insight and information from garden club leader Hamish Liddle.

Please note that there will be resurfacing works along Bakers Row. The nearest parking is on Bridge Road with access to the garden via footpath. Otherwise, we’re right next to Abbey Road DLR station and walking distance from bus stops along West Ham Lane and Manor Road. The Transport for London website gives weekend travel information.

The Abbey Gardens Big Lunch 2015


The lovely thing about The Big Lunch is that lunch just somehow assembles itself, with just the right mix of dishes for the grill, bakes, salads and sweet things. People wander in: volunteers, friends, neighbours, that too with the variety of the table: all ages, many nationalities and all walks of life.

Our team of young judges (with clipboards, which they insisted-on) for the tastiest and best-presented food gave their awards to Margaret and friends for raising the bar on display and to a first-time Big Lunch visitor to the garden who brought a delicious lemon drizzle cake.

A big thank-you to our judges, to Erwan for manning the grill, to everyone who helped set up and clear up, to Sawmill café for voucher prizes and to our administrator Vicki for spreading the word and organising on the day.


The Big Lunch: Sunday 7 June, 12 noon – 3pm


Have a lovely lunch, enjoy the garden and meet the neighbours!

Bring a dish to share, whether it’s something to go on the BBQ, a salad or savoury for the table, a pudding or a cake. There’ll be prizes for the tastiest food. We’ll provide the soft drinks.

And there’ll be food for thought as well as goodies for the table: a talk on container planting by volunteer gardener and innovator Charlie Seber, who designed our greenhouse.

More on The Big Lunch here.

Planting for containers – and the Big Lunch


Materials, behaviour, light, height… garden club leader Hamish’s workshop on planting for containers even covered different weights of drainage material (something to think about if you’re planting for a balcony). New ideas, new knowledge and we hope, happy gardeners! Thank-you to everyone who came along.

If you missed it, come along to one of our garden club sessions, on Tuesdays 1pm – 3pm, Thursdays 4pm – 7pm or Saturdays 10am – 4pm. Our containers, window boxes and gardens all benefit from the things we learn at Abbey Gardens.

And there’ll be a container planting talk by Charlie Seber at The Abbey Gardens Big Lunch on Sunday 7 June, 12 noon – 3pm. Have a lovely lunch, enjoy the garden and meet the neighbours. Bring a dish to share, whether it’s something to go on the BBQ, a salad or savoury for the table, a pudding or a cake. There’ll be prizes for the tastiest food.We’ll provide the soft drinks.

Planting for containers: FREE workshop, Saturday 9th May 11.30am

Want to grow food but no space? Our workshop with garden club leader Hamish Liddle will show how you can grow tasty vegetables, fruits and herbs in patio containers, on a balcony or even on your windowsill. You’ll get tips on what to grow, how and when to plant and on watering.

Workshop lasts roughly one hour with a practical session in the afternoon.


“I think we’re going to need a bigger barrow…”


Artichokes. They’re enormous! Giving them a bit of a haircut to clear dead leaves and reveal space for other planting makes a very big barrow-load of trimmings for compost. In just seven days since we planted the seeds, we have sweetcorn seedlings, which we hope will grow very tall indeed. And we’ve been delighted to have School 21 bringing some students to the garden to do a problem-solving task, working out the dimensions of the raised beds for a maths-design project.

An active day in the garden


It’s a satisfying thing when we get a lot done in a garden club session. Here we have Janice sowing peas, ornamental sorghum ready for potting-on, Lu chopping up green manure, delicious Spring cabbage to share (we garden and harvest communally) and Charlie harvesting some coriander. This session we’ve also sown sweetcorn, potatoes and beetroot, watered – and still had time to chat and eat some rock buns. Well, we are a community garden, after all!

A seed’s eye view of Abbey Gardens


There’s a surprising amount going on inside the seeds that we plant. The first in our new series of workshops has given a fascinating insight into what happens when a seed germinates and what it needs to thrive.

Out in the garden, six varieties of potatoes are in, with more planned. And thanks to veteran gardener Charlie’s sense of adventure we’re trying-out two South American tubers, Oca and Tropaeolum Tuberosa, which has small, nasturtium-like flowers.

Anyone interested in the history of decorative arts, keep an eye on our Acanthus seedlings to see how the leaves develop – Acanthus leaves have been a popular motif through the centuries in carving, illuminated manuscripts and textiles.

Look out for news of our next workshops: we’ll be posting information here and on facebook and Twitter.