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

Gardening and Horticulture

New arrivals and old friends

Gardens: you turn round and suddenly, flowers are out, fruits are forming and there are signs of early Summer.

We’ve seen our first ripe strawberries this week, spinach has been cleared before it goes to seed and in its place are new seedlings, grown off-site by our busy band of volunteers. More new varieties of food crop are making their way into the garden, this week mooli and a spinach-like plant that grows red and turns green when cooked.

And there are old friends too: poppies and aquilegia. Aquilegia was in our first year’s planting plan by artists Somewhere, who designed the garden. Each year, it self-seeds and these delicate little flowers cheer us all over again.

If you’d like to join us for some community gardening, our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, ask us about the garden or just come and enjoy the peaceful urban green space. 

Sunshine, teamwork and random parsnips

 

It takes teamwork to tend a community garden – and on a hot, blue sky Saturday we’ve had a good turnout, clearing around the fruit trees, tidying the raised beds and planting new seeds. Rows of mizuna have gone in and this year, we’re trying okra for the first time. Also new this year is our grapevine, making its way along the hot back wall. Not new but astonishing have been the random parsnips popping up all over the garden… we had no idea that they were so good at self-seeding! There’s colour in the garden too, from vigorous orange calendula plants and vivid pink allium.

Fancy joining us? It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy the garden.

Our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, come and say hello if you’d like to find out more about the garden – or just come and enjoy the peaceful green space. 

How’s it growing? Seeing and sorting in the Spring garden

With Summer temperatures in April, it’s felt as though the garden has been making up for lost time. We’re getting active too, sorting seeds, turning over the compost and finding spaces for sowings of Summer crops.

While our greenhouse awaits repairs, some of our gardeners are sowing seeds off-site that are started-off in pots or trays. The seedlings will be brought to the garden for planting.

And we’re looking forward to welcoming more corporate volunteers to the garden this season, tackling some of our team tasks.

Fancy joining us for some community gardening? Our free, drop-in sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, come and say hello if you’d like to find out more about the garden – or just come and enjoy the peaceful green space.

 

In the pink

In the first gloriously-sunny Spring Saturday of the season, we’ve been preparing. The first raised bed to be repaired is nearly empty of soil and at the other end of the garden, we’re weeding and clearing to nurture overwintered plants and make space for new planting.

The greenhouse is awaiting repairs and expansion so this year, we’re sowing some crops direct in the garden and seeds that need a warm start are being propagated off site by gardeners and friends who have spare growing space.

Whether it’s a bit of energetic shovelling you’re after, some precise planting or just a stroll in a lovely urban green space, come and join us at our free drop-in community gardening sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

Spring is springing at Abbey Gardens

The fruit trees are in blossom, buds are bursting into leaf everywhere, ladybirds are out and about… there’s so much to see in Spring. Even the snails are fascinating close up.

We’ve been busy moving plants from the raised beds that’ll be first for repairs, weeding and tidying to give overwintered crops and herbs some space and chatting with garden visitors curious to know what we do.

Our free, drop-in gardening sessions led by our garden club leader Alison Skeat are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm or Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Tools and gloves are provided. Come for the whole session or just drop in for as long as you have. There are energetic jobs, gentle jobs or if you just want to come and enjoy the peaceful green space of the garden, that’s fine too.

We also welcome corporate volunteers, clubs, school groups, visitors from other community and gardening projects and academic researchers. If you’re interested in organising a session, visit, workshop or activity with us, contact us to find out more.

Spring colour, new seedlings and garden friends

In Spring, there’s a lot to do now and plenty to plan for. We’ve been chopping up more of the green manure to add goodness to the soil in the raised beds, planting up a new strawberry bed and tending young plants overwintered from Autumn sowing.

And we’ve had the help of returning garden friend Russ, who’s made a magnificent job of clearing the greenhouse ready for Spring seedlings. We’ve had a four-legged visitor to our Saturday session too, joining us for our all-important tea break.

With tulips and daffodils to enjoy and new Spring growth everywhere, it’s a lovely time to be back in the garden.

Our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. You can drop in at any time during the session. We garden and harvest together; tools and gloves are provided.

 

Digging it

Green manure. We sow it in the Autumn and in Spring it – well – springs up. Chopping it up and digging it in aren’t the most glamorous jobs in the garden. But mindful chopping of a whole raised bed of greenery is a wonderful thing in the midst of hectic city life. There’s space around you and big sky above. There’s satisfaction in leafy goodness dug in, ready for the season’s planting.

And did we mention the exercise? Getting stuck in to one of our more energetic tasks is a great way to get active. Just don’t say it’s too easy – or garden club leader Alison will put your name down for the Horseradish Challenge…

Our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Come along at any time during the session. Tools and gloves are provided.

 

Our 2018 gardening season starts now!

Our free drop-in community gardening sessions are back for the 2018 season: Tuesday 1pm-3pm, Thursday 4pm-7pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. Join us at any time during the session. Sessions are run by our friendly garden club leader Alison Skeat. Tools and gloves are provided.

Whether you’re an old hand or you’ve never gardened before, one of our regulars or new to the neighbourhood, here for the whole session, dropping by for an hour or just popping in to say hello and find out how it all works, you’ll be very welcome. We garden and harvest together. There are energetic jobs, gentle jobs or just come by to enjoy our peaceful urban green space.

The Abbey Gardens AGM

Our Annual General Meeting will be on Saturday 3 March, 2-4pm at The Bowling Club, Stratford Park, London E15. If you’re interested in how the garden works or would like to find out how to get involved, join us to look back at the 2017 gardening season and discuss 2018 plans.

And with the first of the Spring bulbs starting to flower, it’s time to look forward to the new gardening season. Our free drop-in gardening sessions will be starting again soon. Check back here and on social media for news. Whether you’re a new gardener or an old hand, our sessions are a great way to get outdoors, get active, meet the neighbours, pick up some new gardening skills or just enjoy a peaceful green space in the city.

Hardy perennials at our second Winter gardening session

It takes hardy gardeners to rock up on a cold, rainy Sunday to help get the garden ready for Spring. But the rewards are pops of colour that we only spot when we’re gardening. Little irises, bright with raindrops, rich red sedum, new growth at the bases of plants that just look like sticks from a distance – and then there’s Marie’s guerrilla hyacinth.

Look out for news on the starting date for our regular free drop-in gardening sessions. Whether you’re an old hand or new to the neighbourhood, it’s a great way to get active, enjoy some time outdoors, discover new plants and skills and meet the neighbours.

Meanwhile, our Annual General Meeting will be on Sat 3 March, 2-4pm at The Bowling Club, Stratford Park, London E15. If you’re interested in how the garden works or would like to find out how to get involved, join us to look back at the 2017 gardening season and discuss 2018 plans.