I was interviewed in this article about Abbey Road.
“There were two girls wandering around, looking at maps, and one of them asked me ‘Where’s Abbey Road?’” says Michael Grant. “I smiled and pointed her to the sign, and she realised: ‘This is the wrong station, isn’t it?’”
NOTICE OF AGM
FIRST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF: FRIENDS OF ABBEY GARDENS CIO
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN OF AN ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING OF FRIENDS OF ABBEY GARDENS CIO ON SATURDAY 7 FEBRUARY 2015 AT 2.30 PM AT THE ROCKEBY CENTRE, 63 ROCKEBY STREET, STRATFORD, LONDON E15 3NS
- CIO Members’ registration
- Annual report
- Treasurer’s report
- Election/ re-election of Trustees: Jen Currier; Torange Khonsari; Erwan Guillo Lohan; Andreas Lang; Seb Mayfield and Nina Pope
- Approval of accounts
Draft annual report and Treasurer’s report will be available online soon.
FRIENDS OF ABBEY GARDENS CIO TRUSTEES
As the first green shoots point from midwinter to the season ahead, we’ve taken a quick look back through our 2014 gardening season. And what a busy year we’ve had…
- Our composting toilet has been built by our volunteers;
- We’ve tried-out different potato varieties;
- Our Spring event has launched our Year of the Pumpkin – and brought us some some marvellous scarecrows;
- Part-time administrator Vicki has helped behind the scenes and brought new ideas to the garden;
- We’ve grown new varieties of tulip in the garden, including species tulips;
- Old friends and new neighbours have joined us for The Big Lunch;
- Our Summer Party has brought us knowledge on herbs and helpers from Newham Volunteers;
- Years of hard work on our fruit wall have paid-off in a hot summer with delicious crops of apricots and peaches;
- We’ve had our first watering workshop, to help our gardening volunteers to understand the different needs of our plants;
- There’s been tasty food, from lovely chefs Vegan Peasant, from our volunteer bakers and at garden tastings;
- We’ve grown our first black tomatoes and peach-skinned tomatoes;
- Runner beans have been grown on hoops and a netted cage built to protect leafy greens;
- We’ve joined-up seaside fun and gardening with Pumpkinhead (thanks Public Works!) launched at the Mayor’s Newham Show;
- Thanks to a lot of research and hard work by Dasha, we’ve made cucumbers into gherkins and herbs, roots and flowers into teas;
- Our ingredients have starred at the EastTwenty Local Feast;
- Our honesty stall has made an appearance at the Art Moves event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park;
- Our Pumpkin Fest has been our first event with special pre-planned planting (and some very inventive cakes);
- We’ve tried-out out larger-scale planting of overwintering crops;
- …and we’ve rounded off the year with a warming Winter gathering to the festive sounds of the Regent Community Brass Band.
And we couldn’t have done all of that without our trustees, our volunteers, our funders, our supporters and our garden club leader Hamish. A happy New Year to all of you and to our friends in other gardening projects. Here’s to a great 2015 gardening season.
If you can’t wait for our garden club sessions to resume in the Spring, two dates for your diary: the Winter garden club session on Saturday 10 January from 10am-4pm with our monthly meeting at 2pm and our AGM (Annual General Meeting) on Saturday 7 February (venue to be confirmed) with another special gardening session from 10am.
Thanks to the Bulbs for London initiative by The Metropolitan Public Gardens Association and Taylors Bulbs who donated us about 1,000 bulbs we are going to have flowers galore in the spring! The bulbs were planted mostly around the edge near the fence and some in the beds. There are also groups around the monument area. They sent us a mixture of Tulips, Allium, Narcissi, and Daffodils, and a mixture of varieties.
The air was crisp, the evening chilled and the music mellow… with cakes, hot drinks and a well-stocked honesty stall, our Winter Fair has been full of good cheer for gardening friends, neighbours and visitors.
A big seasonal thank you to Cath and members of the marvellous Regent Community Brass Band, to Louis and Tim French for the festive lighting, to Cath for publicity graphics, to all of our volunteer bakers, cooks and everyone who helped on the day, to Erwan for being MC – and to the events team for organising. If you missed the event, we’ll be at the Print House Christmas Market on Thursday December 11th from 5pm-10pm, 133 High Street, Stratford, E15 2RB, with some of our honesty stall goodies including gherkins and teas made from Abbey Gardens produce.
Finally a huge end of season round of applause to our garden club leader Hamish, whose skill and knowledge have given us another great growing year (and our newest garden visitor, Hamish and Helen’s baby daughter) and to Vicki, our part-time administrator and fundraiser, whose energy and enterprise have enabled us to tackle operational tasks and take up opportunities. Three cheers also to all of our volunteers – in the garden, on the board and behind the scenes.
Our regular garden club sessions have now finished for the season. We will have special gardening sessions through the winter, coinciding with our monthly meetings: the next session will be on Saturday 10th January 2015 from 10am-4pm.
Winter Fair, Saturday 6 December, 4 pm-6pm
Visit the garden in Winter and celebrate the season with us. There will be:
- Warming winter drinks
- Soup made from Abbey Gardens’ produce
- Christmas carol sing-along led by members of Regent Community Brass Band
- Cards and garden goodies on our honesty stall
- Lots of fairy lights
- And our ever-popular cake stall
Free entry. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden. So come and join us for some festive fun.
For a perfect ending to your day, why not continue on to All Saints Chorus and Orchestra’s 20th anniversary concert. They will be performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at West Ham Parish Church (All Saints), Church Street, E15 3HU. The concert starts at 6.30 p.m. Tickets are available on the door and are priced at £15, concessions £10.
And if you are keen to soak up some early Christmas atmosphere come and see us at The Printhouse Christmas Market on Thursday 11 December from 5pm-10pm. The Printhouse is located at 133 High Street, Stratford, E15 2RB.
From our events team
Publicity graphics kindly donated by Catherine French
There’s always something new going on at the garden. On a rainy-sunny-rainy November Saturday – just look at that sky – we’ve sampled Dasha’s refreshing new burdock tea made from Abbey Gardens burdock and by way of moving plants to a shadier spot we’ve made a stumpery, a haven for shade-loving plants and bugs.
Next up: the rebuild of the bug hotel in its new position.
With the pumpkins gathered-in, are we putting our feet up? Not a bit of it! It’s a hive of activity here…
We’ve planted, garlic, onions and spring onions and next in will be the broad beans. We’re clearing and composting raised beds for Spring planting. Santander corporate volunteers have helped clear and bag up the overgrown ivy with expert direction from Charlie and organisation from Vicki. At our monthly meetings we’re reviewing the year’s gardening and community activities and planning ahead. Loothfur has given the gardening tools a clean and polish. The garden still bright with flowers, there are busy bees in the garden too!
So if you fancy joining in, there’s still plenty to do at our free garden club sessions. With the evenings drawing-in, our Thursday evening sessions are now finished for the season but the Tuesday 1pm-3pm and Saturday 10am-4pm sessions are still going strong.
Each year our volunteers produce hundreds of plants from seed to plant out in the distinctive Abbey Gardens raised beds. It is always an exiting and fascinating process. Seeds of different shapes and sizes are put in seed trays, pots and directly into bare soil, days or weeks later the first leaves emerge and the tiny capsule of food and genetic information that is the seed has begun the journey of becoming a mature plant.
Some of the plants we have grown from seed, such as our globe artichokes, will be productive for years and become sizable plants. For others this stage is brief, maybe just one season such as the eye catching Amaranthus caudatus, but it is not the end of the story as seeds for the next generation have been produced come autumn.
Due to the continued support from Chiltern Seeds, each year we have the opportunity to increase the diversity of plants in the garden and try things we have not grown before.
To name just a few new to us this year: German chamomile and milk thistle – used in our new tea blends – beautiful and productive runner bean ‘White Emergo’, striking and long flowering Salvia horminum ‘Blue denim’, novel and tasty Tomato ‘Blue Bayou’ and Agastache astromontana ‘pink pop’ – good for the bees, each plant playing its part in the season’s dynamic performance.
Thank you Chiltern Seeds!
by Hamish Liddle, garden club leader, Abbey Gardens
Pictures by Lydia Thornley