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:

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

Author Archive

We are looking for a new Garden Club Leader

garden club leader

The search has began for a new Garden Club Leader. If you know of anyone or if you are interested in applying you can download the Job Description and application details here ->

Job Description and application form for the position of Garden Club Leader at Abbey Gardens

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School 21

School 21 teachers

Five teachers from School 21 (which is housed on the old Rockaby School site in Stratford) came by the garden today on their quest to explore local organisations in order to set up new links with the school and their students. Its always enjoyable to explain the garden, how it came about and how it all works and the conversations it triggers. The garden is a real manifestation of a collective effort with a strong ethos of sharing. The conversations are a welcome reminder of what we all have achieved over the years.
On another note, I am happy to officially confirm that four out of five visiting teachers passed the ‘smell the comfrey liquid challenge’ – an outstanding result.


TERRA visit to Abbey Gardens

On Saturday the 21st of June 2014, Abbey Gardens will be hosting app.20 visitors from five different cultural organisations. Guests will come from Spain, Italy, France and Germany as part of an adult learning exchange project called TERRA.

TERRA focusses on the exchange of informal learning practices in order to support local residents to become actively involved in making improvements to their local areas.

To find out more you can view the TERRA website here. The organisations who come to visit are: Land Kunst Leben (Germany), Abbey De Noirlac (France), Saline De Royale (France), Citema (Italy), Fundacion Santa Maria La Real (Spain).

The visit is organised by Andreas Lang and Torange Khonsari from public works.

Saline Royale
Images from the TERRA visit to Saline de Royale in France. (left) The Saline de Royale Heritage site. (middle) A cheese production cooperative producing the famous Compté cheese, (right) a green bridge in the Saline de Royal garden.

Congratulations to the Champions … and all those joining in.

the winners

After a hard fought battle the deserving and delighted winners of the inaugural Abbey Gardens Pétanque tournament received the custom made AGP trophy. As the setting sun brushed over the gardens the 14 starting teams could reflect on a successful afternoon in the sun bringing a little bit of French culture to this part of London. According to Wikipedia ‘the casual form of the game of Pétanque is played by about 17 million people in France, mostly during their summer holidays…’ In the UK the numbers are much smaller but we are please to have added a few new casual members to the Pétanque community. For those of you with burning ambitions to take things that little bit further we recommend to check out the London Petanque Association or if you want to go national the English Petanque Association

A special thank you goes out to Jen who organised the event with with her usual mix of determination, charm and humour and for the first time featured in game info graphics drawn up live on her laptop as the event unfolded.

The gaming spirit of the Abbey Gardens community has been awoken and this is likely to the first of many events to celebrate casual competitiveness.

For those of you who could not make it and are still left in the dark what we are talking about we recommend this little video below:

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

An entire harvest in the palms of your hands


It’s that moment of the year again when the very generous donation of seeds arrives – a kind supporting gift from Chiltern Seeds. An entire growing season in one parcel. Time to get to work …

Thank you Chiltern Seeds

Our annual thanks goes out to Chiltern Seeds who are once again supporting Abbey Gardens with free seeds for the 2013 growing season. Chiltern Seeds have proved a very loyal supporter of our garden since the very first day of seeding all those years ago, supplying us with their wonderful organic seeds. THANK YOU – it is very much appreciated by all Abbey Gardeners.

Once upon an apple tree …

It started with a simple conversation with Charlie about Milk Floats and ended with an excursion to Dany’s reclaimed timber Yard on the A12, a hot cup of tea and memories of the beginnings. Four years ago during a hot summer Dany and his team build the raised beds at Abbey Gardens. Not known to myself, Dany also introduced Charlie to the garden shortly after it opened. On our quest to Milk Float knowledge we ended up reminiscing about the olden times, fond memories of the hard working French brothers and … the apple tree which once stood in the garden and had to be cut down. I was quite protective of the little apple tree and hoped we could keep it. Common sense prevailed and we replaced it with a new tree in clean soil. I wasn’t aware that at the time Nina asked Dany to hang on to the root of the old tree for ‘some kind of art project’. And so it came to be that on an autumn afternoon I was reunited with the old tree stump. On the same trip charlie took me to a forgotten garden, across the road from Danies yard which once belonged to a school. We foraged a bag full of delicious apples many of which ended up in our honesty stall on Bakers Row. This morning they were all gone – hopefully nicely shared between the increasing number of passers by.

The remains of the Old Apple Tree

Charlie foraging in a forgotten garden


What Will The Harvest Be? at Abbey Gardens had the pleasure to be part of this years 13th Venice Architecture Biennial. The Hands on Urbanism exhibition curated By Elke Krasny which was originally shown in Vienna, a reduced version of the show made it to Venice where it can be seen over the next three month in the International Pavilion in the Giardini.

Hands on Urbanism shared a space with some old friends from Paris. AAA (Studio for Self Managed Architecture) came to visit Abbey Gardens very early on to show their ECHO BOX film about the development of a community garden in Paris. It was one of the first events before we had access to the site.

Torange enjoying a moment of Abbey Gardens glory in Venice

Mass seed growing Saturday


Following the completion of our new recycled greenhouse, kindly donated and modified by Charlie Seber we need to start to use it, so this Saturday (March 24th) we will be doing a mass seed sowing, things that urgently need sowing are tomatoes, celeriac, celery, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, chillis, aubergines, many ornamental plants, and much more.

It is also potato planting time again, which we will be doing around midday. We also have Kale, Chard, and some salad crops that need to be picked before we remove them to prepare for this years plantings.
Hopefully see you there,

Hamish (Garden Club Leader)