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

Author Archive

Clearing, tending and swapping stories: Saturday at the garden

Food stories have been swapped, tomatoes tended, horseradish harvested (it’s a challenge…), three generations of a family have come to look after the seedlings they planted, a new gardener from the tower blocks has popped in to check on a chilli plant, compost queen Nancy’s mini incinerator has made light work of a pile of garden clearings – there’s been a lot of clearing and tidying – and the bees have been busy around the flowers. Did we mention rock buns? There were rock buns, baked to share. Just another Saturday drop-in gardening session at Abbey Gardens.

Fancy joining us? Our free drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Come along at any point during the session and give as much or as little time as you can spare. We have energetic jobs and light jobs for gardeners of all ages and abilities.

In the garden: how our community gardening sessions work

We’ve had a number of people ask us at our Triangle Market events how the garden works.

So meet Manoj, one of our community gardeners.

Manoj and his family live in a flat with no garden. He loves gardening but his work involves being on-call. So our drop-in community gardening sessions, where unlike an allotment site, we garden and harvest together with our garden club leader Alison, are perfect for coming along when he can and staying for as long as he can spare. In that time, he’s had amazing success bringing new varieties of edible plants to the garden, including okra, as well as growing familiar favourites. At our Triangle Market, he has picked a harvest to share with other volunteers at the end of the session; surplus has been packed into paper bags and put on the honesty stall by the gate. Manoj’s family visit regularly to admire progress – and gardening skills and food knowledge are being passed to the next generation.

At each session, we also have surprises. This week, our local community police officer and another garden friend turned out to be the perfect people to identify the mystery climbing plant at the back of the garden: Clematis vitalba, which you’ll recognise later in the year as Old Man’s Beard. And pointing our macro lens at a wallflower seed pod that we’d taken apart, we discovered not just how beautiful it was but that it had a lot of seeds, so it’s now on our list for seed-saving.

Our free, friendly drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!

Fourth row of pictures by kind permission of Manoj Kumar.

Market, garden: our third Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens

Goodies galore, colourful crafts, delicious food, history, poetry and live music from Natasha Kirke – our third Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens has been full of wonderful things. Thank you to everyone who took part, to the Triangle Market crew, to the history and poetry activity leaders and to everyone who came along, shopped, explored and discovered. We’ve made new garden friends and discovered new potential collaborations.

Follow Triangle Market here for news of its next market.

If you’d like to get involved in more poetry with Newham Poetry Group, its Meetup page is here.

And our friendly drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!

Top picture by kind permission of Hugh Preedy.

Local history and people’s poetry: free activities on Saturday 18 August

Local history session Saturday 18 August 1pm – 2pm – help start a local history society
Hear about local history in the setting of Abbey Gardens, which is itself a historical site containing the ruin of the Stratford Langthorne Abbey Gatehouse. Local history enthusiasts Marieta and Gareth will tell some local history stories and share their experience of setting up a volunteer-run history society.

Poetry in the garden with Newham Poetry Society: Saturday 18 August, workshop 2pm-3pm using the garden as inspiration, open mic 3pm-4pm
Newham Poetry Society has been organising free, accessible weekly poetry sessions at Stratford Library for the past two years. Participants have shown that there is huge enthusiasm locally to read, listen, share, learn and perform poetry as an expression of lived experience. Members come from a wide range of ages, abilities, cultures and social and educational backgrounds. Members are energetic, ambitious, generous in sharing ideas and experiences and continue in conversation beyond the group settings. Newham Poetry Society has been branching out to local events and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the garden.

Join in, try something new and enjoy community market Triangle Market, which will be at the garden from 12 noon to 4pm.

Our usual drop-in community gardening session will also be running, from 11am to 4pm, so come and join us or ask us about the garden and how you can get involved.

Food, crafts, music, poetry, history: Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens, Saturday 18 August, 12 noon – 4pm

Triangle Market is back at Abbey Gardens on Saturday 18 August, 12 noon-4pm

There are even more stalls to explore and enjoy:

Busra and Kubra Uz – Food Stop
Food Stop sells delicious and healthy Turkish food, cooling watermelon drinks and beautiful upcycled handicrafts. Local residents and sisters Busra and Kubra set up their business this Summer through Triangle Market, up the road from the Abbey Gardens.

Carlotta Novella – Veg
A brand new food entrepreneur with her heart in Italian cuisine and good ingredients, Carlotta sells veg boxes that you can preorder, packed with matching recipes. Abbey Gardens is her first market so come and make some new food discoveries!

Deborah Lesforis – Rosa’s Treats
Deborah’s cakes are little works of art. You might have seen them at Woodgrange Market in Forest Gate and Triangle Market, where she is a regular stallholder – now her cake loveliness is coming to Abbey Gardens. And there are vegan, low sugar and no sugar alternatives!

Kina Legg – knitwear
Kina sells beautiful knitwear and started selling at Triangle Market last Christmas when it had its first ever market event in the square. We are very happy to welcome her to Abbey Gardens and can’t wait to see what her talented fingers have knitted since then.

Ellie Clarke – tote bags
Ellie sold for the first time with Triangle Market last Sunday 12 August. She makes beautiful tote bags in different fabrics, colours and sizes. Ellie has a bag for every style, mood and color palette.

Ana Ramos – Alternating Stitches (a colourful blend of different things)
Ana makes beautifully playful fabric card holders, wired hairbands, vinyl decal stickers, and lots of personalised items. See her to upgrade your jewellery collection, get a new makeup bag or buy one of her collectors’ comic books.

Lora Toma – Salliro (Soap etc.)
Lora is a soap and bath bomb magician making the most amazing and beautiful creations that add lovely scents and a touch of luxury to your life. She a market expert since she is the market coordinator for PYM, the Plaistow Youth market.

Nina Magdziak Nayeem and Zara Nayeem – Zaras bead creations (Hama bead items)
Nina and Zara are a mother and daughter selling beautiful, intricate and colorful hama bead creations. Everything from fridge magnets, keychains, earrings to art pieces. They are so colourful and fun that it’s impossible to buy just one thing.

You are so Jammy Jams
Homemade jam – traditional favourites and traditionals with a twist. Flavours inspired by cocktails desserts and sweets.

Sugar Rush & More – Homemade sweets
Sugar Rush & More is a family run business of three women based in East London. They make and sell sweets, treats and cakes all with vegan and vegetarian options.

Karen Philips  
Bespoke glass vases

Peter Payne
Cartoon portraits – Peter was with us at our first Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens

Izabella Wasowska
Crocheted products

Shofa Miah
Second hand and household items

Also at Abbey Gardens this Saturday, free activities:

Local history session 1pm – 2pm – help start a local history society
Hear about local history in the setting of Abbey Gardens, which is itself a historical site containing the ruin of the Stratford Langthorne Abbey Gatehouse. Local history enthusiasts Marieta and Gareth will tell some local history stories and share their experience of setting up a volunteer-run history society.

Poetry in the garden with Newham Poetry Society: workshop 2pm-3pm using the garden as inspiration, open mic 3pm-4pm
Newham Poetry Society has been organising free, accessible weekly poetry sessions at Stratford Library for the past two years. Participants have shown that there is huge enthusiasm locally to read, listen, share, learn and perform poetry as an expression of lived experience. Members come from a wide range of ages, abilities, cultures and social and educational backgrounds. Members are energetic, ambitious, generous in sharing ideas and experiences and continue in conversation beyond the group settings. Newham Poetry Society has been branching out to local events and we’re looking forward to welcoming them to the garden.

There will be live music to enjoy from Natasha Kirke, @LilacUnderworld

And you can come along and ask us about our friendly drop-in community gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!

People and species: valiant volunteers and colourful wildlife at Abbey Gardens

In the weeks of heatwave, we’ve been hoping that a good burst of rain could give the garden a proper soaking… and it’s all come at once, a classic British summer in a day, soaking our valiant corporate volunteers from UBS. A big Abbey Gardens thank you for doing a wonderful job, clearing and tidying two of our biggest raised beds. The gloves were still drying out at our Saturday session…

The wildlife at the garden has been busy too. Marie’s sunflowers, newly-open, are attracting bees. In the strawberry bed, we’ve spotted the astonishing fluorescent yellow spider pictured above. Looking it up, we think it’s a crab spider. But if you know your spiders and can tell us more, do get in touch.

Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens, Saturday 18th August
The wonderful Triangle Market stallholders are coming to the garden for another community market on Saturday 18th August, 12 noon to 4pm. Buy produce and crafts from local businesses, listen to some live music, enjoy the garden – and this time, there’s a chance to have a go at poetry (12 noon to 3pm) and help start a history society (3pm to 4pm)!

And there will be our usual drop-in community gardening session from 11am to 4pm.

Our free drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours! Tools and gloves are provided. New gardeners are always welcome.

Made by our community

Who’s gardening? At our drop-in gardening sessions, we garden and harvest together, giving as much or as little time as we can spare. A plant sown or donated by one person is watered by another, people spot a task that could do with second pair of hands and offer to help, new gardeners tackle a task alongside people who know how it’s done. We share the harvest at each session, putting any surplus on the honestly stall. Sometimes, the harvest comes back, as jam, or chutney, to share again.

This week, we’ve marvelled at our West Ham grapes – too sharp to eat but most of us have never seen grapes ripen before or looked at the clever fronds they use to climb. We’ve pinched out and tied in the tomatoes, to give them support and space to ripen. A bouquet of flowers has been gathered as a thank-you. We’ve seen neat sowing by two generations of gardeners coming up as Summer seedlings. We’ve harvested tomatoes, gathered windfall apples and netted two rows of cabbages to protect them. Our brambles have been full of blackberries. And we’ve done a lot of watering, focusing on the thirstiest crops.

Our free drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours! Tools and gloves are provided. New gardeners are always welcome.

The next Triangle Market at the garden will be on Saturday 18 August, from 12 noon to 4pm.

Music, stalls, making and tasting: Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens

Guitar music, figs grown right here in the garden, pretty-as-a-picture cakes, delicious Turkish food, tropical drinks, aloe vera products, tutoring, making mediaeval hats and Ayurvedic tea tasting: it’s been variety all the way at our second Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens!

Thank you to all of the Triangle Market stallholders, to Daljit Kaur for her fascinating workshop, Eugenio Morgillo – Flat 26 – for fabulous guitar playing and to Hanna and Torange for organising

There’s another Triangle Market coming up on Saturday 18 August from 12 noon to 4pm and this time we’ll have…

  • The wonderful Triangle Market stalls
  • Poetry and gardening
  • A local history session – help start a history society!
  • Live music

Enjoy tasty food, help support local businesses, try something new and find out more about the neighbourhood.

Meanwhile, we have our usual free drop-in community gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!

And Daljit is running free meditation sessions in the garden every Sunday at 11 o’clock, weather permitting (no session if it’s raining).

So there’s lots to come to the garden for this Summer! We hope to see you soon.

 

Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens: meet the stallholders

Triangle Market will be at the garden again on Saturday 28 July 12 noon – 4pm. So we’d like to introduce some of our lovely stallholders:

Busra and Kubra Uz – Food Stop
Food Stop sells delicious and healthy Turkish food, cooling watermelon drinks and beautiful upcycled handicrafts. Local residents and sisters Busra and Kubra set up their business this Summer through Triangle Market, up the road from the Abbey Gardens.

Carlotta Novella – Veg
A brand new food entrepreneur with her heart in Italian cuisine and good ingredients, Carlotta sells veg boxes that you can preorder, packed with matching recipes. Abbey Gardens is her first market so come and make some new food discoveries!

Deborah Lesforis – Rosa’s Treats
Deborah’s cakes are little works of art. You might have seen them at Woodgrange Market in Forest Gate and Triangle Market, where she is a regular stallholder – now her cake loveliness is coming to Abbey Gardens. And there are vegan, low sugar and no sugar alternatives!

Pictured, clockwise from top left: Carlotta Novella, Carlotta’s salad mix, Food Stop and cakes by Rosa’s Treats.

Also at Abbey Gardens this Saturday, free activities:

  • Healing Food and Healing Mind workshops (booking required)
  • Join in with a costume workshop, where we’ll make hats for a history walk.

And there will be live music to enjoy.

Meanwhile, we have our usual friendly drop-in community gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!

Triangle Market at Abbey Gardens: health, history, food, crafts and costume making

A collaboration between new West Ham food and makers’ market Triangle Market and Abbey Gardens, this is the second in our series of Summer events:

  • 12 noon-4pm: fresh produce and makers’ market
  • 12 noon-2pm: costume making for a history walk
  • 2pm-4pm: Healing Food and Healing Mind workshops (booking required)
  • Live music

…and on Ride London weekend, it’s good to know that we’re bike-friendly: visitors can get to us via the Greenway.

We have our usual friendly drop-in community gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays, 11am-4pm. Help grow food and flowers, get outdoors, get active, enjoy the beautiful urban green space and meet the neighbours!