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

Maria’s mulching marvel

It’s hard work, clearing. You’re not just wrenching plants out of the raised beds; there’s an awful lot of chopping to do to get them ready for the compost. So when volunteer Maria turned gardening superhero this Saturday, announcing that she had got a great deal on hire of a mulching machine and friend-funded the cost, we were very happy indeed.

But superheroes just don’t stop… several barrowloads of clearing later, as if by magic, magnificent bouquets had appeared, made from cutting flowers and garden clearings.

The machine is booked for Saturday 23rd September – so if you fancy joining us to feed it, come along to the gardening session (11am-4pm).

Thank you, Maria!

Our drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thorsdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

Corporate volunteers and the horseradish challenge

There are tasks around the garden that groups of volunteers can make light work of – and that’s where our corporate volunteers come in. They maintain paths, chop up cleared plants ready for compost, shift materials around for build projects, set up supports ready for climbing plants, do epic amounts of weeding… they’re made of tough, cheery stuff.

But then, garden club leader Alison throws down [pause for drum roll] the horseradish challenge. We have a raised bed full of the stuff and it’s a beast to pull up. So take a bow, all who’ve stepped forward and emerged victorious with this toughest of roots!

Pictured above, the marvellous team from HSBC who came to us via ELBA (East London Business Alliance) and their horseradish challengers.

And a big Abbey Gardens thank-you to all of our corporate volunteers – including teams from Mace Group, Morgan McKinley, MJ Mapp and via Benefacto. You make a massive difference to our lovely community garden.

To find out more about corporate volunteering at the garden, contact ELBA, Benefacto, get in touch with us or drop by one of our community gardening sessions (Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm).

 

Mindfulness and tomato maintenance: the quiet rhythm of community gardening

Mindfulness and tomato maintenance. It’s an odd combination but chatting over a garden clearing job, we agreed that the quiet rhythm of gardening is a meditative thing. So just as we give the tomatoes space to ripen, we can give ourselves space to let ideas flow, enjoy the peace of the garden, be amongst nature and get some mental refreshment. All while helping maintain this beautiful urban green space and being part of a community of gardeners.

On the honesty stall this Saturday: chard and cherry tomatoes.

Fancy joining us? Our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm, Thursdays from 4pm-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm. We also hold regular community events: watch this space for details of our Harvest Festival on Saturday 30th September.

 

 

Spud Saturday: bringing in the potato harvest

Potatoes. Useful, versatile, even – but you probably wouldn’t put ‘potatoes’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence… unless you’ve had a go at growing them. Lifting potatoes is like digging-up treasure: one plant can have an astonishing variety of spud sizes, from enormous right down to pearl-sized. And then there are the comedy veg (this year, we give you duck potatoes). Harvest done, the soil is in lovely condition and the tops have been chopped-up for compost. Our Saturday gardeners have had potatoes to take home and we’ve had plenty left for the honesty stall. If you’re passing the garden, take a bag and put a donation in the coin slot.

So, what’ll it be? Jacket potato, roasties, chunky chips, mash or salad?

If you’d like to join in with our food growing and find out how to grow your own, join us at our free drop-in gardening sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

Twirly carrots, snail hangouts and a haircut for the tomatoes

Tomato hairdressing, anyone? Fancy discovering where snails hang out? Or are twirly carrots your thing? We’ve had all of that at our Saturday drop-in gardening session, with friends dropping in to garden, family gardening and some visitors keen to pick our brains for their startup growing space.

The garden is lush after the week’s showers so we’ve been giving our tomatoes some space to ripen. We’ve had our best-ever carrot harvest. More poppy seed heads have been prepared for decorations. We’ve been clearing the broad bean and pea plants ready for the next crops to go in – and the clearings will become compost to go back into the raised beds.

Join in, enjoy the space, come along and ask us things… our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm, Thursdays from 4pm-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm. 

Sunflowers and rainy pruning

“It’s good for the garden!” We’ve had rain. Lots of it. Waterproofs all round, then, for a guest visit to the garden by Hamish Liddle to share his fruit tree pruning wisdom. And the odd dash to the cabin to share cake and shelter from the heaviest downpours. Our sunflowers, though, have brought their own sunshine and with all the warmth and water, Abbey Gardens is looking lush.

Whether you’d like to join in with some gardening, enjoy some peace in a lovely urban greenspace or meet the neighbours,  come along to our free drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm,-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk. And look out for our community events – our Harvest Festival will be on Saturday September 30th.

 

 

Busy bees

We were busy as bees last weekend… then the bees showed us just how busy they’ve been! Just look at that pollen, captured by designer Cath French.

We grow a lot of bee-friendly plants at the garden so if you’d like to find out more, come and join us at one of our free drop-in garden club sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

 

Busy as bees

Gardening stuff; creative stuff; connecting with the community stuff… there’s always something to do at the garden. Thirsty tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, beans and squash have been watered. Tomato plants have been tidied-up to give them space to fruit. Garden club leader Alison has been experimenting with turning our poppy seed heads into decorations. Nancy has been putting together bags of garden goodies for the honesty stall (this weekend: courgettes, onions, rosemary and mint – If you’d like one, come by, take a bag and leave a donation). And the bees have been busy on the sunflowers.

Fancy joining in? Our drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

Hello July!

It’s Summer in the garden and after a good watering from the week’s showers, we’ve been wrenching out bindweed and delving into the rapidly-growing tomatoes to give the flowers some space. New seedlings have gone in, seeds have been sown and we’ve had time to admire the echinacea, watch the wildlife and share some cake. And did we mention artichoke antlers? There were artichoke antlers, from maintenance cutting back our huge and very productive artichoke plants for their next season.

There are so many different ways to join in with our free drop-in gardening sessions: hefty jobs, dainty jobs, sociable jobs, solo jobs – and just enjoying the beauty and peace of this lovely urban green space. If you fancy a go or you’ve always wondered what this garden is, our sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

 

Twisty carrots, black-eyed peas, family fruit bush planting and an aubergine hat

Community gardening is full of surprises… Thinning out our carrots this Saturday, we’ve pulled out all manner of candytwist shapes. The beautiful red leaves by the cabin turn out to be black-eyed peas, planted by Ami. Our courgettes are such a rich purply green that they look as though they’re trying to be aubergines. And veteran gardener Charlie, dapper as ever, has been sporting an aubergine beanie hat.

There’s been much watering, Alison and Margaret have been tending the tomatoes, Nancy and Ella have been composting, George has been putting in sweet potatoes and Dasha has been planting fruit bushes, with Yuriko and her children.

Fancy joining us? Come along to our free drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm or Saturdays 11am-4pm. Or just visit our lovely urban growing space and say hello (we’re also open to visitors every day from dawn to dusk).