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.


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In the garden:

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Gardening sessions take place on
Tuesdays 1pm-3pm
Thursdays 4pm-7pm
Saturdays 10am-4pm

New Job, new partnership: fresh opportunities at Abbey Gardens

We have two brand new opportunities this season:

Garden Leader – Part Time Job Opportunity
Download information http://www.abbeygardens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Garden-Leader-Job-Opportunity-FOAG_rev18.03.pdf or scroll down for details.

Partnership Search
Download information http://www.abbeygardens.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Partnership-Search-FOAG_rev18.03.pdf or scroll down for details.

Garden Leader – Part Time Job Opportunity

Abbey Gardens is an open-access harvest garden in the East London borough of Newham where anyone is welcome to participate in the communal growing of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Unlike the traditional allotment system, at present no one has their own patch and users garden together at regular sessions led by an experienced gardener. The produce is shared among volunteers and is also available to the local community in return for donations from one of the garden’s two Honesty Stalls. Abbey Gardens has been operating for over 10 years, thanks to the tireless local support, effort and engagement that has enabled the initiative to endure beyond its planned 2 year lifespan. The Garden continues to bring the local community together through free gardening sessions, team building days for local organisations, health and wellbeing events, food & craft markets and an annual Harvest Festival.

The Abbey Gardens site is one of only two Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Newham and contains the remains of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey where monks once ran a kitchen garden. In 2006 a group of local residents formed Friends of Abbey Gardens, initially with the aim of rescuing the derelict site from vandalism and neglect. With the commissioning of an arts project entitled “What Will The Harvest Be?”, the plan was made to turn Abbey Gardens into an open-access park and harvest garden. The soil was found to be contaminated, but with time and effort this setback was overcome and a beautiful artist-designed harvest garden was created in 30 long raised beds.

The Trustees of the Garden, the founding artists and the volunteer community group are reaching out to find a new partner or organisation to move the garden to the next stage of evolution. In these roles, you have the opportunity to be involved in the evolution and improvement of a rare green space in urban London, which has incredible potential for creative and exciting gardening and social initiatives.

We are inviting expressions of interest in the position of:

Garden Activity Leader – Part time position – 12 noon – 4pm Saturdays April 2019 – December 2019

Key Responsibilities

  • Planning, resourcing and leading the weekly garden club sessions and implementing the garden planting scheme for each growing season.
  • Providing both individual and group hands-on tuition and encouragement to members of the public who want to use the garden.
  • Encouraging and recruiting new members of the group and maintaining a diverse volunteer interest
  • Ensuring the use of safe working practices at the site, both for volunteer gardeners, and the safety of the visiting public.
  • Conducting regular routine maintenance of the garden. .
  • Ensure that site building/s and tools are well-maintained and secured as necessary.
  • Recording garden activity (such as user numbers) accurately and distributing / collating supplied project evaluation materials as required.
  • Undertaking any other related responsibilities commensurate with the evolving objectives of the post and the evolution of the garden, as may reasonably be requested by the Managing Committee and Board of Trustees.

Person Specification

  • Enthusiastic and self-motivated person with a passion for getting people (of all ages and abilities) gardening and enjoying plants.
  • Strong technical knowledge of horticulture, natural and organic growing practices, and have an innovative and creative gardening approach.
  • Confident and clear communicator, able to share ideas and find solutions as the garden evolves activities and partnerships.
  • Commercially minded for the success of the garden, seeking new opportunities to make the garden successful and relevant to the local community and partnerships.
  • Local advocate for the project and comfortable working independently and in a collaborative team.

Please send your expressions of interest to: abbeygardens.e15@gmail.com by March 23rd 2019. Applications will be reviewed and selection process will take place w/c March 25th 2019.

www.abbeygardens.org

 

Partnership Search

Abbey Gardens is an open-access harvest garden in the East London borough of Newham where anyone is welcome to participate in the communal growing of flowers, fruit and vegetables. Unlike the traditional allotment system, at present no one has their own patch and users garden together at regular sessions led by an experienced gardener. The produce is shared among volunteers and is also available to the local community in return for donations from one of the garden’s two Honesty Stalls. Abbey Gardens has been operating for over 10 years, thanks to the tireless local support, effort and engagement that has enabled the initiative to endure beyond its planned 2 year lifespan. The Garden continues to bring the local community together through free gardening sessions, team building days for local organisations, health and wellbeing events, food & craft markets and an annual Harvest Festival.

The Abbey Gardens site is one of only two Scheduled Ancient Monuments in Newham and contains the remains of a 12th-century Cistercian abbey where monks once ran a kitchen garden. In 2006 a group of local residents formed Friends of Abbey Gardens, initially with the aim of rescuing the derelict site from vandalism and neglect. With the commissioning of an arts project entitled “What Will The Harvest Be?”, the plan was made to turn Abbey Gardens into an open-access park and harvest garden. The soil was found to be contaminated, but with time and effort this setback was overcome and a beautiful artist-designed harvest garden was created in 30 long raised beds.

The Trustees of the Garden, the founding artists and the volunteer community group are reaching out to find a new partner or organisation to move the garden to the next stage of evolution. In these roles, you have the opportunity to be involved in the evolution and improvement of a rare green space in urban London, which has incredible potential for creative and exciting gardening and social initiatives.

Abbey Gardens is a rare green space in Stratford that provides an opportunity for a local organisation to establish a new business opportunity or to expand on an existing venture. The 1 acre site is currently an open public space, which has historical significance and strong local and community support. Currently run as a not for profit community garden, the trustees and local volunteers are inviting a new partner to write the next chapter of the gardens’ history. We are open to discussions with potential partners that could contribute to the overall aims of the garden:

  • To build a strong local and community initiative to support health, wellbeing, social connections and positive mental health.
  • To engage a wide range of community groups in connecting with nature through planting, growing, harvesting, and maintaining a healthy green space in which to connect with nature.
  • To champion Abbey Gardens as an innovative and engaged community group, enthusiastic about building a positive and healthy future for the local area.
  • To build a sustainable business model to ensure the long term viability of the space, building on opportunities to sustain revenue and success of the garden space/land.

We’d love to hear from you and discuss your proposition for the garden space, please get in contact with your:

  • Proposal vision & overview
  • Intended timelines & resource requirements
  • Budget and financial plan
  • Key objectives

Please send your expressions of interest to:abbeygardens.e15@gmail.com by March 23rd 2019. Applications will be reviewed and selection process will take place w/c March 25th 2019.

www.abbeygardens.org

Start the season 2019

Got the gardening bug after the recent burst of Spring? Come and help get the garden ready for the season at our FREE volunteer-run community gardening sessions on Saturdays 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30 March, 1pm-3pm. Come along for the whole session or drop in when you can. No experience necessary; tools and gloves provided. Children are welcome if gardening with a parent or carer.

Planning for a fruitful garden

Fruit tree pruning is highly technical stuff. It’s also strategic – you have to think about where you want the tree to go. So Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope from Somewhere, who designed the garden, followed our visioning meeting by applying some strategy to the espalier-trained fruit trees along the back wall.

It’s also been a pleasure to welcome new neighbours to our meeting, keen to get involved and bring their own stories and skills to the garden.

If you’re looking forward to getting outdoors for some Spring gardening, there will be informal Saturday volunteering sessions every Saturday in March from 1pm to 4pm, with trustee Marie Helson.

Pictured: Karen Guthrie. Nina Pope and founder member of Friends of Abbey Gardens Andreas Lang.

 

Future Vision of the Garden: a workshop on Saturday 2 February

Abbey Gardens has now been running successfully for 11 years. This is incredible, especially on limited resources. The garden has been managed primarily by volunteers since its conception and like any organisation, it needs to have a new life to be fit for the future.

We are hosting a visioning workshop session on:
Saturday 2 February 2019
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Abbey Gardens Cabin – Bakers Row – E15 

This is open to all members, but we would very much like to have input from actively involved gardeners and behind the scenes volunteers.

Book your place by emailing Torange at:
Mail@abbeygardens.org

Our garden year

It’s that time when we look back at the gardening year and ahead to future plans. We’ve grown some amazing things in 2018’s hot summer (Grapes! In West Ham! Who knew?). The garden has brought together people from all corners of our community to grow food and flowers, swap gardening tips and tell their stories. We’ve seen some amazing wildlife. We’ve welcomed fantastic teams of corporate volunteers and Triangle Market’s organisers and stallholders. And we’ve grown new partnerships.

In early 2019 we’ll be swapping ideas and making plans for the season to come. Meanwhile, we wish all of our gardeners, behind the scenes volunteers, funders, visitors, project partners, corporate volunteers and friends a wonderful festive season and a happy New Year.

School 21 Christmas celebration of mindfulness at Abbey Gardens

School 21
Christmas celebration of mindfulness
WITH YEAR 7

Tuesday 18th December 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, E15 3NF

Have an experience you will never forget!

WHAT?

We will calm your mind and body using all the senses. Enjoy mindful tasting and healthy snacks, join in mindful seeing and breathing meditations as well as other Christmas entertainment. Take away a mini indoor garden and see our mindful classroom designs.

WHY?

At School 21 we have decided to make people more aware of being mindful and centred. Our project aims to bring together the community in the beautiful Abbey Gardens.

Flyer design by School 21.

Thank you!

It’s that time of year again, when we say thank you to everyone who has helped make the garden grow.

Thank you to all of our gardeners and behind the scenes volunteers, to our trustees, to our funders, to everyone in the neighbourhood who piles in to help set up events and to the amazing teams of corporate volunteers who bring their energy to big garden tasks.

Thanks also to the Triangle Market team and stallholders for bringing the market  – and new visitors – to the garden this Summer.

And we’ll be saying farewell to our garden club leader Alison Skeat at our Winter gardening session on Saturday 1 December, 11am-3pm with a garden meeting at midday and festive treats for volunteers.

Look out for news of the 2019 garden season.

The great Abbey Gardens cabbage harvest

Cabbage. Half a raised bed of it. On the last weekly gardening session of the season, Marie has harvested the lot, Alison has transported them to the cabin by barrow and Nancy has set to composting the leavings (and plenty more cleared garden waste besides). The cabbages have been shared amongst the day’s volunteers, with plenty left over for the honesty stall. We’ll be eating our greens!

Our 2018 regular gardening sessions have now finished for the season. But there’ll be a Winter gardening day on Saturday 1 December from 11am-3pm, with a volunteers’ meeting at 12 noon. Join us to help out in the garden, hear garden news and plans for 2019 and to say farewell to garden club leader Alison. Check here and on social media for news of our 2019 AGM, when we’ll be looking back at the 2018 season and forward to the next year in the garden.

 

Clearing, sowing and wrapping-up: it’s Autumn in the garden, with news of our end-of-season sessions and Winter gardening

Autumn is full of variety at our community gardening sessions. On the approach to the garden, the morning glory planted by Charlie and dahlias planted by the garden’s designers Nina and Karen give a burst of colour. We’ve been doing so much end-of-season clearing that our compost queen Nancy needed helpers to haul it all into the store. A new gardener has has brought a meticulous approach to preparing cleared beds for green manure seed. Garden club leader Alison has gathered-in and shared-out all of the remaining green tomatoes for chutney, fried green tomatoes, soups and more. George has harvested other end of season crops to share. Lorna’s careful cutting back of the mint has enabled new growth to spring up between the Autumn leaves. And our new feathered garden visitor has been sighted again – we think she’s a female sparrowhawk. It’s a real treat to see her in our urban setting.

We’re coming up to the end of our 2018 gardening season:

Our regular weekly gardening sessions finish with our Tuesday session 30 October 1pm-3pm, our Thursday session 1 November 4pm until dusk and our Saturday session on 3 November from 11am-4pm.

Then there’s our Winter gardening session on Saturday December 1st, 11am – 3pm. which will be our final session for 2018. This will also be Alison’s last session as Garden Leader so please do come along for some festive treats and to say farewell and thank you to her! 

We will also have garden volunteer meetings on both Saturday November 3rd and Saturday December 1st, starting at 12noon.

A wild visitor at our drop-in gardening session

Drop-in just got a whole new meaning at our Thursday gardening session: we were joined by what we think was a female sparrowhawk, perching on the back wall and the wind turbine and swooping down to the raised beds. A very rare sight in the garden and a wildlife treat as we get towards the end of our gardening season.

Come and join us for our last regular gardening sessions of the season: Saturday 27 October 11am-4pm and Tuesday 30 October 1pm-3pm. There will also be a Saturday session on 3 November, 11am-4pm. And look out for news of special Winter gardening sessions.