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

People and plants – our community, gardening

Everything we grow has a human story. Garden club leader Candace has been planting her favourite herbs. George tends and shares garlic chives, which he uses in Chinese cooking. This year’s variety of tomatoes has been grown from seedlings brought by gardeners and neighbours. There’s Cosmos, one of the flowers in our very first planting scheme, back in the garden, from plants started off two blocks away. The magnificent patches of Amaranth have been sown and tended by two generations of women from a local family. The aubergines have been grown by schoolchildren. And the dwarf beans were sown by a dad and daughter, both fans of gardening.

So when you visit the garden, think of the community, gardening.

If you’d like to try our produce, come and garden with us at our free, drop-in Saturday sessions, from 1pm-5pm. We share the harvest between us and any surplus goes on the honesty stall for donations. The garden is also open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

When visiting the garden, please use the rubbish bin by the gate or the recycling bank just up the road, or take your rubbish home with you. It keeps the garden nice for everyone and safer for little ones. 

 

Having a connection with the things we eat… and flowers that smell like cheese

Flowers that smell like cheese. It’s not how you expect to start a community gardening session but the flowers that garden club leader Candace was clearing had a definite perfume of Parmesan…

At Abbey Gardens we like to pause and marvel at the plants that we grow. Stripey tomatoes; alternate petal colours; random potatoes; mint in flower; the brightness of rainbow chard stems; the grassiness of garlic chives – all that wonder, in one Saturday afternoon. It gives us a real connection with the food that we grow and share and the decorative plants that we (and the bees) enjoy.

There’s planning ahead too: extra herbs and edible flowers are being sown for our Herb Festival on Saturday 14th September, 12 noon – 4pm. Save the date!

Meanwhile, join us at a drop-in community gardening session. They’re on Saturdays, from 1pm – 5pm, they’re free, families are welcome to come and garden together and tools and gloves are provided. Get active, enjoy being in a lovely urban green space, meet the neighbours – and learn some surprising things about plants!

Flowering food and busy bees

Flowering artichokes! Bees! We’ve seen as many as five bees busying themselves on a single flower this Saturday – one of the joys of sometimes letting our edible plants go to seed.

The humans have been busy as well… A massive thank you to the group of young people from NCS The Challenge Newham, who cleared a big section of raised bed for new planting. Garden club leader Candace harvested calendula seed, which we planted straight away to make four new patches of flowers. Torange was prototyping a new raised bed structure, part of future planning for the garden. Our neatest planter George is back, looking after spring onions and garlic chives. And not only was our family of gardeners in to water recently-planted crops; their little girls were drawing too!

Fancy joining us for some community gardening? Our free, drop-in sessions are on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm, tools and gloves provided. Our sessions are open to anyone interested in gardening, whether you’re a knowledgeable gardener or completely new to growing food and flowers. Children are welcome to come and garden with parents or carers.

Welcome, Candace!

We have a brand new garden club leader! Candace (pictured top right with Dasha and second row left) has volunteered at the garden and brings barrow-loads of horticultural knowledge and food-growing interest with her.

On a super-hot Saturday, we’ve been pinching-out tomatoes and putting up higher supports, collecting seeds and watering. Beetroot and carrots planted only weeks ago are already up. And we’ve had a visit from another little seedling, trustee Marie’s baby daughter.

Fancy joining us? Come along to our free, friendly drop-in community gardening sessions on Saturdays, 1pm-5pm. Tools and gloves are provided, we garden and harvest together and you drop by for a short time or stay for the whole session.

 

The Great Get Together at Abbey Gardens

One of the things we love most about getting our community together for lunch is that the food is as varied as the people. We snacked our way around the world, had a look at options for the future layout of the garden, chatted with neighbours, welcomed new people and while we were at it, we did some clearing and planting.

Thank you to everyone who came along and a round of applause for our organisers, publicity crew and set-up volunteers.

Next week, we’re back to our regular Saturday drop-in community gardening session, from 1pm – 5pm. Sessions are free, tools and gloves are provided and whether you’re new to gardening or an experienced grower, you’ll be very welcome.

Urban Herb Gardening, The Great Get Together and The Herb Festival – events for your diary

Urban Herb Gardening – Saturday 15th June 12pm – 2pm
Green Hands Newham will host an event at Abbey Gardens to pot herbs to take home.
It’s easier than you think to get green fingers in London. Join this FREE workshop and take potted herbs home.The Great Get Together – Saturday 22nd June 12pm – 3pm
Bring a dish to share with your local community. Get to know your neighbours and do a spot of zen gardening

The Herb Festival – Saturday 14th September 12pm – 4pm
Our Autumn festival is our biggest in the year. Come and enjoy fresh food produced from the vegetables in the garden. Learn about plants and gardening. Learn about medicinal herbs and cosmetics. Join a workshop on healing powers of herbs whilst listening to live music and enjoying tea and home baked cakes.

Teas, coffees, cakes and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Planting up, watering in and the big compost turn-round

On a gloriously sunny Saturday, we’ve been putting in plants, doing lots of watering and there’s been a big effort digging out the compost for mulch and refilling the compost boxes with new clearings. And there have been bees, butterflies, hoverflies, ladybirds and worms working away alongside us.

We’re just planting half of the garden this season to leave the other half of the raised beds clear for repairs. But there’s still plenty to do. Whether you’re new to gardening or an old hand, come and join in with our free drop-in Saturday gardening sessions, 1pm-5pm, tools and gloves provided.

 

New plants, new people

On a gloriously sunny Saturday we’ve been catching up with our planting, there’s been tidying, watering and discussion of the year’s events.

A big Abbey Gardens welcome to garden session leader Felicity, covering for Rosie. Another big welcome for a small visitor – young Mallory, on a first tour of the garden with her mum Marie, who’s one of our trustees. And it’s great to see School 21’s raised bed planted up and ready for Summer crops.

Fancy joining us? Our free, friendly drop-in Saturday community gardening sessions are from 1pm to 5pm, tools and gloves provided. Whether you’re a veteran gardener or starting out, whether you want an energetic job, a delicate job or just to join is for gardening chat and peaceful urban green space, you’ll be welcome too. Drop in for a while or stay for the whole session.

Saturday planting

We have a planting plan! We have seedlings! We have people! It’s been all go at the garden this Saturday, preparing raised beds for planting, adding compost and getting in some of this year’s crops.

There’s a job for everyone, from junior gardeners to grown-ups, delicate jobs, expert jobs, hefty jobs (compost shovelling, anyone?), some people pop in for a short time and some stay for the whole session.

Our free community gardening sessions are on Saturdays, from 1pm to 5pm, tools and gloves provided. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener without a plot to tend, new to the neighbourhood or you’ve often walked past and wondered what we do, drop by and say hello. You’ll be very welcome.

Community in the garden

Community gardening is as much about community as it is about the garden.

This Saturday, we had neighbours gardening, people dropping in to say hello, catch up on progress and swap knowledge, our compost queen Nancy with a map for School 21 showing the system that produces such amazing compost for the garden, we were delighted to have a visit from veteran gardener Charlie (to see the enormous milk thistle in the garden) and the whole thing was fuelled by rock buns, baked in the morning two blocks away.

Our free community gardening sessions are on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. Drop in, help out, stop by to find out what we do or just come in to enjoy the beautiful flowers.