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

Food

Having a connection with the things we eat… and flowers that smell like cheese

Flowers that smell like cheese. It’s not how you expect to start a community gardening session but the flowers that garden club leader Candace was clearing had a definite perfume of Parmesan…

At Abbey Gardens we like to pause and marvel at the plants that we grow. Stripey tomatoes; alternate petal colours; random potatoes; mint in flower; the brightness of rainbow chard stems; the grassiness of garlic chives – all that wonder, in one Saturday afternoon. It gives us a real connection with the food that we grow and share and the decorative plants that we (and the bees) enjoy.

There’s planning ahead too: extra herbs and edible flowers are being sown for our Herb Festival on Saturday 14th September, 12 noon – 4pm. Save the date!

Meanwhile, join us at a drop-in community gardening session. They’re on Saturdays, from 1pm – 5pm, they’re free, families are welcome to come and garden together and tools and gloves are provided. Get active, enjoy being in a lovely urban green space, meet the neighbours – and learn some surprising things about plants!

The Great Get Together at Abbey Gardens

One of the things we love most about getting our community together for lunch is that the food is as varied as the people. We snacked our way around the world, had a look at options for the future layout of the garden, chatted with neighbours, welcomed new people and while we were at it, we did some clearing and planting.

Thank you to everyone who came along and a round of applause for our organisers, publicity crew and set-up volunteers.

Next week, we’re back to our regular Saturday drop-in community gardening session, from 1pm – 5pm. Sessions are free, tools and gloves are provided and whether you’re new to gardening or an experienced grower, you’ll be very welcome.

Urban Herb Gardening, The Great Get Together and The Herb Festival – events for your diary

Urban Herb Gardening – Saturday 15th June 12pm – 2pm
Green Hands Newham will host an event at Abbey Gardens to pot herbs to take home.
It’s easier than you think to get green fingers in London. Join this FREE workshop and take potted herbs home.The Great Get Together – Saturday 22nd June 12pm – 3pm
Bring a dish to share with your local community. Get to know your neighbours and do a spot of zen gardening

The Herb Festival – Saturday 14th September 12pm – 4pm
Our Autumn festival is our biggest in the year. Come and enjoy fresh food produced from the vegetables in the garden. Learn about plants and gardening. Learn about medicinal herbs and cosmetics. Join a workshop on healing powers of herbs whilst listening to live music and enjoying tea and home baked cakes.

Teas, coffees, cakes and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Growing Memories

Abbey Gardens is starting a potential collaboration with the project Growing Memories. They are exploring how eating habits have changed in Stratford over the years and they would love to hear from people with memories and recipes to share! Please get in touch with them via email at francis@ech.org.uk or by phone: 020 8553 3116.

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!

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: 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!

Health, food, history, culture and our harvest festival: four events at Abbey Gardens

HEALTH & FOOD*
SAT 14TH JULY 12 NOON- 4PM
12noon-4pm Fresh produce & craft market
12noon-2pm Late Lunch – Bring a healthy dish to share
2pm-4pm Healing food and healing mind workshops
Plus live music 

HEALTH & HISTORY*
SAT 28TH JULY 12 NOON- 4PM
12 noon-4pm Fresh produce & craft market
12 noon-2pm Costume making for history walk
2pm-4pm Healing food and healing mind workshops
Plus live music

CULTURE & GARDEN
SAT 18TH AUGUST 12 NOON- 4PM
 
12 noon-4pm Fresh produce & craft market
12 noon-3pm Poetry & gardening
3-4pm Local history session (help start a history society) 

HARVEST FESTIVAL
SAT 29TH SEPTEMBER 12 NOON- 4PM
 
12 noon-4pm Fresh produce & craft market & History exhibition
1pm-3pm History walk, face painting, potato racing, poetry exhibition, knit a vegetable
Plus live music 

*Book your place for a workshop here.

 TEAS, COFFEES, CAKES AND HONESTY STALL PRODUCE FOR DONATIONS TO THE GARDEN 

 

Our honesty stall: a bit of countryside in West Ham

Honesty stalls. They’re common in the countryside but a bit of a treat to find tucked-away in an urban neighbourhood.

Our very first honesty stall was when the garden was still an overgrown patch of wasteland. Local resident and one of the founders of the project Andreas put up a stall for apples from the tree on the site.

Now we have a purpose-built stall and on it goes the surplus produce harvested at our community gardening sessions. We like to make a mixture of produce – and the variety of veg and fruits that we grow often offers a chance to try something new. The best times to look out for produce are after our free drop-in gardening sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

So if you live in the neighbourhood, commute from Abbey Road DLR station or you’re just visiting, come by, take a bag and leave a donation. Or even a note! (Thank you, neighbours!)

A community effort

At Abbey Gardens, we garden together and we harvest together at our drop-in community gardening sessions. This Saturday, we’ve had gardeners of all ages joining in – a little’un finding a potato shaped like a snowman, compost queen Nancy turning waterer for the day, cheery yellow tomatoes picked by Lorna and our young helpers, coriander thinnings gathered by Dasha and the first parsnip lifted by garden club leader Alison.

We’ve had our garden meeting where we’ve discussed latest news, plans and ideas. Everyone interested in the garden is welcome – the next one will be on Saturday 4 November at 2pm in the garden

And there’s been time to enjoy the flowers: just right for the sunshine, we’ve spotted some beautiful ice cream coloured blooms.

On the honesty stall this week: bags of tomatoes, artichokes and chard for donations.

Dates for your diary:

Saturday 23 September: Mulching day! We have a munching machine for the day so come along and help prepare cleared plants for compost at our drop-in gardening session 11am-4pm.

Saturday 7 October: The Abbey Gardens Chilli Festival – look out for more information here and on facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. You don’t have to stay for the whole session – stay for as much or as little time as you can spare.

The garden is open to visitors from dawn ’til dusk. If you’d like to try the food that we grow, look out for produce for donations on our honesty stall, come to our events or join us for some community gardening.

If you’d like to get involved in helping with organisation, admin, events or as a trustee, let us know.There are many people and skills that help to make our garden grow.