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

Community events

Planting for containers: FREE workshop, Saturday 9th May 11.30am

Want to grow food but no space? Our workshop with garden club leader Hamish Liddle will show how you can grow tasty vegetables, fruits and herbs in patio containers, on a balcony or even on your windowsill. You’ll get tips on what to grow, how and when to plant and on watering.

Workshop lasts roughly one hour with a practical session in the afternoon.


Our gardening year


As the first green shoots point from midwinter to the season ahead, we’ve taken a quick look back through our 2014 gardening season. And what a busy year we’ve had…

  • Our composting toilet has been built by our volunteers;
  • We’ve tried-out different potato varieties;
  • Our Spring event has launched our Year of the Pumpkin – and brought us some some marvellous scarecrows;
  • Part-time administrator Vicki has helped behind the scenes and brought new ideas to the garden;
  • We’ve grown new varieties of tulip in the garden, including species tulips;
  • Old friends and new neighbours have joined us for The Big Lunch;
  • Our Summer Party has brought us knowledge on herbs and helpers from Newham Volunteers;
  • Years of hard work on our fruit wall have paid-off in a hot summer with delicious crops of apricots and peaches;
  • We’ve had our first watering workshop, to help our gardening volunteers to understand the different needs of our plants;
  • There’s been tasty food, from lovely chefs Vegan Peasant, from our volunteer bakers and at garden tastings;
  • We’ve grown our first black tomatoes and peach-skinned tomatoes;
  • Runner beans have been grown on hoops and a netted cage built to protect leafy greens;
  • We’ve joined-up seaside fun and gardening with Pumpkinhead (thanks Public Works!) launched at the Mayor’s Newham Show;
  • Thanks to a lot of research and hard work by Dasha, we’ve made cucumbers into gherkins and herbs, roots and flowers into teas;
  • Our ingredients have starred at the EastTwenty Local Feast;
  • Our honesty stall has made an appearance at the Art Moves event at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park;
  • Our Pumpkin Fest has been our first event with special pre-planned planting (and some very inventive cakes);
  • We’ve tried-out out larger-scale planting of overwintering crops;
  • …and we’ve rounded off the year with a warming Winter gathering to the festive sounds of the Regent Community Brass Band.

And we couldn’t have done all of that without our trustees, our volunteers, our funders, our supporters and our garden club leader Hamish. A happy New Year to all of you and to our friends in other gardening projects. Here’s to a great 2015 gardening season.

If you can’t wait for our garden club sessions to resume in the Spring, two dates for your diary: the Winter garden club session on Saturday 10 January from 10am-4pm with our monthly meeting at 2pm and our AGM (Annual General Meeting) on Saturday 7 February (venue to be confirmed) with another special gardening session from 10am.



Winter warmth at Abbey Gardens


The air was crisp, the evening chilled and the music mellow… with cakes, hot drinks and a well-stocked honesty stall, our Winter Fair has been full of good cheer for gardening friends, neighbours and visitors.

A big seasonal thank you to Cath and members of the marvellous Regent Community Brass Band, to Louis and Tim French for the festive lighting, to Cath for publicity graphics, to all of our volunteer bakers, cooks and everyone who helped on the day, to Erwan for being MC – and to the events team for organising. If you missed the event, we’ll be at the Print House Christmas Market on Thursday December 11th from 5pm-10pm, 133 High Street, Stratford, E15 2RB, with some of our honesty stall goodies including gherkins and teas made from Abbey Gardens produce.

Finally a huge end of season round of applause to our garden club leader Hamish, whose skill and knowledge have given us another great growing year (and our newest garden visitor, Hamish and Helen’s baby daughter) and to Vicki, our part-time administrator and fundraiser, whose energy and enterprise have enabled us to tackle operational tasks and take up opportunities. Three cheers also to all of our volunteers – in the garden, on the board and behind the scenes.

Our regular garden club sessions have now finished for the season. We will have special gardening sessions through the winter, coinciding with our monthly meetings: the next session will be on Saturday 10th January 2015 from 10am-4pm.

All the fun of the Winter Fair – 6 December


Winter Fair, Saturday 6 December, 4 pm-6pm

Visit the garden in Winter and celebrate the season with us. There will be:

  • Warming winter drinks
  • Soup made from Abbey Gardens’ produce
  • Christmas carol sing-along led by members of Regent Community Brass Band
  • Cards and garden goodies on our honesty stall
  • Lots of fairy lights
  • And our ever-popular cake stall

Free entry. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden. So come and join us for some festive fun.

For a perfect ending to your day, why not continue on to All Saints Chorus and Orchestra’s 20th anniversary concert. They will be performing Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at West Ham Parish Church (All Saints), Church Street, E15 3HU.  The concert starts at 6.30 p.m.  Tickets are available on the door and are priced at £15, concessions £10.

And if you are keen to soak up some early Christmas atmosphere come and see us at The Printhouse Christmas Market on Thursday 11 December from 5pm-10pm. The Printhouse is located at 133 High Street, Stratford, E15 2RB.

From our events team
Publicity graphics kindly donated by Catherine French

Pumpkin Fest – a celebration of all things pumpkin


Cakes that looked like pumpkins. Cakes with pumpkins in them. Carved pumpkins. Pumpkin facts and stories. Cheffing with pumpkins. Pumpkins painted on faces. Pumpkin quizzes. Pumpkin cushions. The Pumpkinhead photo prop. Our gardeners dressed in pumpkin colours… It really has been all things pumpkin at the Pumpkinfest.

A massive Abbey Gardens thank-you to Vegan Peasant, the Regent Community Brass Band, our competition judges, our councillors and community police for giving out the prizes, all who gave prizes including the lovely Sawmill café, our workshop leaders, our stall and setup crews, our Chair, Mike, for MC duties, everyone who made and contributed products for the honesty stall including gherkins by Dasha, teas by Dasha and a team of teabag-filling volunteers, chutney by Freya, food stories cushions and pumpkin pun cards by Lydia and of course, Charlie’s amazing comfrey liquid, Hamish for sharing gardening know-how… and most importantly, our awesome events team.

Congratulations too to our competition and raffle prize winners.

And thank you to everyone who visited and made it another busy, cheerful event.

If you missed the Pumpkinfest, you can listen to it! Here’s a link to a radio feature by Pete Day from NuSound Radio 92FM for his Community Hour show. 


Pumpkin Fest! A free event for all ages Saturday 27th September 1pm-4pm


Abbey Gardens Pumpkin fest – a free event for all ages

Saturday 27 September 2014, 1pm-4pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF

Celebrating all things pumpkin, the most expressive of the vegetables…

Come along for the free activities and enjoy the garden

  • Enter the pumpkin carving competition – bring your pumpkins already carved or decorated to the event
  • Bring your pumpkins, squashes or giant marrows to help us create a Pumpkin Exhibition – you may win a prize
  • Children’s pumpkin craft workshop
  • Delicious food created by Vegan Peasant
  • Pumpkin face painting
  • Get your photo taken as a Pumpkin Head
  • Enjoy music from Regent Community Brass Band
  • Learn the history of pumpkin carving
  • Buy fresh produce, as well as homemade pickles, jams and chutneys on our honesty stall
  • Garden tours from our garden leader, Hamish Liddle
  • Test your knowledge in our Vegetable Quiz
  • And our ever-popular tea and cake stall!

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

Hamish with pumpkin_lo


Would you like gherkins with that?

bottled cucumbers_low

Food. It’s what brings the 20 plus nationalities gardening at Abbey Gardens together. A conversation by a veg, fruit or herb plant, discussion of the gardening session’s harvest – you’ll hear as many recipes as you see people. Gherkins, bottled with proper Czech know-how by Dasha, are back on the menu this year. We’re looking forward to them and there may be some on the honesty stall at our Pumpkin Fest on Saturday 27 September 1pm-4pm. If our garden volunteers haven’t got there first (they’re very good indeed)…

A nice cup of tea

Dasha's dried herbs

It’s thirsty work, gardening. Handy, then, that many of our herbs also make refreshing tea – and that they’ve had a great growing season. Dasha has been harvesting and drying to make blends for our Pumpkin Fest on 27 September (1pm-4pm). Pictured: camomile, milk thistle and mint. Come along and visit our lovely honesty stall.

Pumpkin heads!

pumpkinhead_blog group

Thanks to everyone who stopped by our stall today at the Mayor’s Newham Show!

We hope you enjoyed testing your knowledge with our seed quiz and of course getting to be a PUMPKIN HEAD as part of Abbey Gardens Year of the Pumpkin!

In order to download your pumpkin head photo, please follow the instructions below and don’t forget to hold the date for our PUMPKINFEST – Saturday September 27th from 1pm-4pm at Abbey Gardens.

To download your PUMPKIN HEAD photo:

  1. Please visit the PUMPKIN HEAD flickr page –  https://www.flickr.com/groups/2635868@N25/
  2. Click on the photo you want to download
  3. In the bottom right of the screen, there will be a download button (arrow pointing downwards) or an options button (displayed as three dots) – click either one
  4. Select ‘view all sizes’
  5. Download the size you would like

Be a pumpkin head at the Mayor’s Newham Show on Sunday 13 July!


Pumpkin pie, pumpkin soup, pumpkin carving, pumpkin growing… If you’re so into pumpkins that you’ve pretty much turned into one by the end of the season (or you just fancy being photographed with a pumpkin on your head), then come along and be photographed as a pumpkin head at the Mayor’s Newham Show on Sunday 13 July 2014, Central Park London E6, from 1pm – 4pm in the Active Outdoors area.

Pose with our marvellous scenery, have your picture taken, go to this website for a link to our pumpkin head flickr page and you’re gourd to go! It’s all part of our Year of the Pumpkin so there’ll be another chance for a photo moment at our Pumpkinfest on 27 July 2014, 1pm-4pm at Abbey Gardens.