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.


Ready, steady, grow! Saturday 26 April from 1pm – 3pm, a free event for all ages

Abbey Gardens is now hiring a project co-ordinator



This excellent opportunity offers the challenge of working with a diversity of people within a newly formed charity. The role involves project managing the administration and funding of the charity, assisting in planning the garden’s programme and co-ordinating the garden’s publicity and communications.

The Project Co-ordinator will be self-employed and contracted for an initial 6 months, which can be extended, subject to funding.

Ideally, the successful candidate will possess some experience in charity administration or running local / community gardens. However, enthusiastic and motivated individuals with related experience will also be seriously considered.

To learn more and find out how to apply, please read the job description here.

Closing dates for applications is 12th April 2014.

For more information about this post, please contact jobs@abbeygardens.org

Big Dig dug!


Digging, turning over, composting… We’ve joined in with the Big Dig, raised beds are dug over with trenches ready for potatoes and two patches are planted-up with broad beans and peas. We’ve shared the last pickings of our black kale with regular gardeners and new friends – and there’s been fantastic fruit cake by Dasha for the tea break.

Next up: Ready, Steady, Grow!, our event on 26 April from 1pm-3pm. Bring a picnic and enjoy some Spring gardening activities:

  • Help us plant pumpkins – and plant your own to take away and bring to our Pumpkin Day in September
  • Perfect Pumpkins – all about how to sow, grow and look after your seedlings
  • Bring your favourite pumpkin recipe for sharing
  • Make a stylish scarecrow
  • The grand opening of our new composting toilet, designed and built by our volunteers
  • And our ever-popular tea and cake stall

All activities are free. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.



The Big Dig: Saturday 22 March 10am-4pm


This Saturday we’re taking part in The Big Dig alongside our regular garden club session from 10am to 4pm. If you fancy a go at community gardening but aren’t sure what it involves, come along, say hello and get growing. You don’t need to be an experienced gardener: just bring your enthusiasm.

You could be planting potatoes or broad beans, digging (of course), spreading compost, working on the fig tree, weeding around the fruit trees, working on the wildflower strip or doing some propagation. All in the beautiful setting of Abbey Gardens, started by the local community and now in its sixth growing season.

There will be garden tours by garden club leader Hamish and inductions for anyone new who’d like to join in with the day’s activities.

See you on Saturday!


Nice to see you, blossom!


There are many uses for a wheelbarrow – and we thought we’d seen most of them. But now we have (drum roll, please) toilet transporter! Our composting toilet has landed in our loo with a view. For those wanting to focus on loftier things, the peach blossom bursting from the fruit wall is a thing of loveliness. Sowing seeds, we’ve been trying out irrigation for the trays, which saves time and water. And we’ve harvested early Spring produce for our gardeners to share.

Dates for your diary:

  • Our full programme of garden club sessions for the season starts this week: Tuesday 1pm-3pm; Thursday 4pm-7pm and Saturday 10am-4pm. New gardeners are always welcome and the sessions are free.
  • The Big Dig: We’ll be part of it on Saturday 22 March, 10am-4pm – come and say hello.
  • For those interested in the running of the garden, our next monthly meeting is on 5 April at 2pm.
  • Ready, steady, grow! Our Spring event is on Saturday 26 April from 1pm-3pm. Plant a pumpkin for our pumpkin day in September, help make a stylish scarecrow… watch this space for details or look out for news on facebook and twitter.


Would you like chits with that?


Potatoes. Ordinary enough – until you try one you’ve grown yourself… Our seed potatoes are in for chitting so keep an eye on the blog and our Twitter feed if you’d like to join our planting session. It’s sociable – and quite competitive when we’ve got two teams planting up both raised beds.

Our composting toilet is  taking shape, designed and built by our volunteers. And there’s plenty else to do besides: we’ve been digging in the green manure, feeding the cabbages and clearing ready for planting.

Next up: propagation – so come along to one of our garden club sessions and enjoy making the garden grow. Our next session is on Saturday 17 March from 10am – 4pm and then our full programme of sessions starts for the season, including weekdays: Tuesdays 1pm – 3pm and Thursdays 4pm – 7pm.

Never tried gardening before or new to the neighbourhood? We’ll be doing The Big Dig on Saturday 22 March from 10am-4pm so join in and get growing!




Raking, sorting, building, creating


After a wet Winter there’s some drying-out for the garden to do before we start planting for the season. But there’s plenty to get on with… Hamish has been sorting the seeds and listing varieties for 2014, we’ve raked the wildflower strip so that we can see where the gaps are to fill in, clearing has revealed new growth, green manure sown last year has been dug in to enrich the soil and the composting toilet is in construction.

Our newly-expanded events team is busy too, hatching ideas for this year’s themes. Watch this space for details.


Gardening season – we’re ready!


The daffs are ready… The artichokes are ready… The wallflowers are ready… Grab your gardening gear – our garden club season starts on Saturday 1 March from 10am – 4pm. There’s lots of practical work to do and for those interested in the running of the garden, our monthly meeting is at 2pm. Our events catch-up is at 1.30pm so if you have some ideas to share, come and say hello.


A fine fruit wall – and a fruitful annual meeting


We’ve had a great horticultural year – so it’s fitting that on the day of our AGM (Annual General Meeting) we’ve been able to walk around the garden and see a fine fruit wall, our Autumn and Winter-planted bulbs up and as we clear ready for the Spring planting season, new growth everywhere.

Over the past year we’ve registered as a charity, enjoyed a bumper harvest, expanded our food activities, had a stable attendance of 60-100 regular volunteers, started our project developing the southern boundary of the site and rooted ourselves in the wider community.

We begin 2014 ready to start our garden club sessions and meet our infrastructure targets.

Huge thanks to our outgoing Chair Erwan Guillo Lohan, who has put enormous energy into the garden for the past three years and moves across to the post of Treasurer, to outgoing Treasurer and workshop leader Ashley McCormick, who is leaving London and will be allotmenteering on the south coast – and to everyone who works so hard behind the scenes to make the garden a success. Welcome new Trustee Jen Currier and our incoming Chair Gordon Joly.

Our thanks also to the Salvation Army at Paul Street E15, which hosted our AGM.

We’ll be gardening on Saturday 1 March from 10am, with our monthly meeting at 2pm.


A community of gardeners


Abbey Gardens is more than a community garden: it’s a community of gardeners. So our first Winter gardening session and meeting of the year has seen much catching-up over the clearing and harvesting, passers-by dropping in to find out more and a visitor planning a new project out of London sitting in on our meeting to learn about some of the work that goes into making the garden grow.

The full garden club season starts in March – dates to be announced after our Annual General Meeting:

1 February 2014 10am-2pm, followed by our Annual General Meeting at the Salvation Army, 11 Paul Street London E15 4QB.

If you’d like to know more about the ways in which you can get involved, do get in touch or come and say hello. It takes a wide range of people to make the garden grow and people with admin and organisational skills are very welcome as well as gardening volunteers.