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:

  • February 27, 2017 2:00 pmAbbey Gardens AGM
AEC v1.0.4 Click here to see full calendar


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

Hello 2017!


Happy New Year and happy gardening!

We’ve had some fantastic frosty days in the garden (pics here by Cath French) and as the days get lighter and new shoots appear, we’ll be looking ahead to the Spring gardening season.

Our next drop-in Winter gardening session will be on Saturday 4 February from 10am to 4pm, with our monthly meeting at 2pm, when you can find out the latest news and get involved behind the scenes.

Our AGM will be on Saturday 25 February at 2pm, venue to be confirmed.

Our 2017 gardening season will start in March – watch this space and keep in touch on facebook and Twitter.



Planting the seeds for 2017


Jack Frost has visited the garden (thank you Cath French for these gorgeous pictures) and so can you!

Our last gardening session of the season is on Saturday 3rd December from 10am-3pm. Drop in, say hello and help look after this beautiful growing space.

The last garden meeting of the year will take place this Saturday 3rd December at 2pm in the cabin. We’ll be discussing the outcomes of the November meeting as well as planning the planting for the next season. Everyone who’s interested in the garden is welcome so if you’re new to the neighbourhood and would like to find out more or get involved, come along.

Or just come and enjoy the peaceful space of the winter garden.

Our regular gardening sessions will resume in the 2017 growing season.

Winter gardening


As the leaves fall and the nights draw in, we come to the end of our growing season and our weekly gardening sessions finish for the year.

But there will be a Winter gardening session, from 10am to 4pm, on Saturday 4 February. We’ll be collecting seeds, clearing, preparing the soil for next season and doing some maintenance. So whether you enjoy delicate jobs, fancy some energetic digging-over and compost-shovelling or are handy at helping with repairs, you’ll be very welcome.

There’s always plenty to help with behind the scenes too so if you’ve passed the garden on your way to the station and would like to find out more or volunteer your skills, get in touch – we’ll be happy to hear from you.

Making, saving, tasting


There are all sorts of ways to make the most of the harvest. Even Autumn clearings can find a new use.

Alison Skeate, who’s leading our gardening sessions, has been busy… Regular gardener Charlie’s request to lift the horseradish from the comfrey plot has become an opportunity to try out a horseradish sauce recipe. Calendula petals will go into an experiment in making calendula oil. Seeds have been saved in seed packets made by folding waste paper and used catalogue pages. And when we have this many colours of tomato, we just have to make a pattern out of them (but they’ll be used too – we all have our favourite ways of using up the last of the tomato harvest, from sauce to fried green tomatoes to chutney).

There’s looking-ahead to do too. Garlic, onions and shallots have been planted for next season and we’re starting to discuss planting plans. And at the last gardening session of the season on Saturday 5 November, our monthly meeting from 2pm will be a discussion of the next season and beyond. So if you’d like to help shape the future of the garden, come along.

A colour feast


There’s colour everywhere you look at the garden this season: artichokes flowering like thistles, blazing Californian poppies, rich red amaranth, little tomatoes like boiled sweets and calendula, still flowering even as it sets seed for next season. There’s structure too as our architectural flowers shed their colours and reveal their shapes. So if you’re after some inspiration, come along: we’re open every day for visitors to enjoy.

But if you’re interested in getting outdoors, doing some practical tasks and even picking up some knowledge for your own gardening, there’s still plenty to do before the end of our gardening season – so pull on your gloves and join in with one of our gardening sessions. They’re on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm (with earlier finish as the evenings get darker) and Saturdays 10am-4pm. They’re free and you can drop in for as much or as little time as you can spare.

The last session of the season is on Saturday 5 November, when our monthly meeting from 2pm will be a discussion of the next season and beyond. So if you’d like to help shape the future of the garden, come along.

More than a garden


Abbey Gardens is a community garden where people garden and harvest communally at sessions held three times a week. There’s a lot of behind-the-scenes work too to make the garden grow. But in growing food and flowers, staging community events and just being there, it creates more than the sum of its parts.

There’s the delight and pride in tasting food we’ve grown ourselves. The food we share at the end of our sessions often has life beyond the plate (these strapping little squash were grown from saved seeds from portions of Abbey Gardens squash taken home to cook). Recipes from many parts of the world have been swapped at our sessions and events. Local workers come in to eat their lunch. Students visit on research. Companies send troupes of volunteers to take on a task for the day. Families picnic and children play. It’s been a simple walking goal for visitors building up strength after illness. It’s a place to get some exercise and a screen break. It’s an opportunity to meet the neighbours. People come researching local history or family history. Skills are offered and gained. And some people just turn up wanting to help.

There’s plenty of helping to do in October, the last month of our gardening year, with guest garden club leader Alison Skeate. And we’re also planning ahead, for the coming season and beyond.

What is the garden to you? What would you like it to be? Come along to our monthly meeting on Saturday 5 November at 2pm in the cabin and help plan the next season and beyond.

Social Permaculture Workshop

Saturday 24th September (1-4pm)
The workshop will cover what we can learn about social connections by seeing them as natural ecosystems and part of a wider web of nature connections. This free workshop will be led by Ros Bedwell.
Photo: Leeds Permaculture Network

Abbey Gardens Harvest Festival

Autumn is here, let’s get together to celebrate the harvest! Come and be part of this lovely community.



A sprint finish to Summer

AG blogpost_Aug16

“It’s as though the plants know that Autumn is on its way”, said garden club leader Aisté. It’s taking quick work to keep on top of the clearing, harvesting and composting.

Thanks to Dasha’s social media shout-out, we’ve had new Saturday visitors to the garden in search of produce. We’ve told the story of the garden, offered cooking tips and gained helpers.

If you’re interested in community gardening but aren’t sure what it involves, or you’re new to the neighbourhood and have been wondering what the garden is, come and say hello during one of our gardening sessions.

Find yourself a bargain at our Summer Market!

Summer Market Poster: Find yourself a bargain & enjoy the garden in our 10th anniversary year

Find yourself a bargain & enjoy the garden in our 10th anniversary year!
Summer Market Sunday 17th July 2pm-5pm

A free event for all ages

Joining Friends of Abbey Gardens are two incredible teams of young people, representing NCS The Challenge

Experience an eclectic range of stalls and activities! Something for everyone!

Plentiful produce from the garden on our Honesty Stall

Visit our ever-popular tea and cake stall

Plus live musical entertainment to be confirmed

All proceeds from market stalls, drinks, food & honesty stall will be donated to the garden.