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

Events on Site

Harvest Festival East: Saturday 26 September


Harvest Festival East
Saturday 26th September 2015 1pm-4pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E15 3NF (next to Abbey Road DLR station)
A free event for all ages

Come and enjoy a celebration of the year’s gardening, with contributions from all corners of our community:

Young people from the National Citizen Service, Team Perham, will be leading apple dunking and other activities

Think you’ve got the perfect apple tart recipe? Show us your finest in the apple tart competition!

Tour the garden with garden club leader Hamish Liddle and find out about some of the experimental crops we’ve been growing this year

Enjoy home-baked goodies at our ever-popular tea and cake stall

Quirky Nature will present a quirky gang of tasty fresh-pressed juices using organic ingredients mostly from Abbey Gardens. Come and meet Peter Green, Jack Ginger, Mary Roots among other unique personified recipes

Buy fresh produce on our honesty stall

Music, dancing and a fun workshop will be provided by Bollywood Dance Group, Tridhara

Enjoy seasonal food made by Tom Fletcher of Rejuce using harvest from the garden

All activities are free. Food, drink and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Event graphics kindly donated by Catherine French.

Garden curiosities and event excitement


Horseradish. It’s something you don’t really think about as a plant if you’re used to buying it in jars of sauce. But that’s community gardening for you, full of curiosities. This year, we’ve grown an upright variety of red amaranth, a sort of short-haired version of the glorious trailing dreadlocks of Amaranthus Caudatus. And our black tomatoes, strange fruit to start with, are giving us all sorts of novelty shapes. Teapot in need of a handle or cartoon character’s head? We can’t quite decide.

Thinking of growing your own? Community gardening is a great way to gather skills and ideas. Come and see us on Edible Gardens Open Day, Saturday 19 September. Our garden club session will be running from 10am to 4pm so you can see us in action and find out how to get involved.

Our next event: Harvest Festival East, Saturday 26 September, 1pm-4pm. Save the date for a celebration of all things grown and local, a free event for all ages. It’s part of Urban Food Fortnight. More information soon!


Grow your own party: the Abbey Gardens Summer Fete


It’s nice when a grand day out comes straight from the neighbourhood. We’ve had delicious food made from our produce by Vegan Peasant. Our very own brass player, Cath French, has brought along along Regent Community Brass and friends. We’ve had stories from the land: writer Neil Fraser has read from his book Over The Border: The Other East End. We’ve had a cabin-full of local history to delve into. Our volunteers and neighbours have been baking for our tea and cake stall and contributing quiz questions. There’s been a treasure hunt around the garden (enjoyed so much by our young gardeners and visitors that they wanted to do it all again). There’s been portrait drawing by illustrator Fred Apps. And we’ve had a cheery group of Newham Volunteers helping on our stalls.

A big Abbey Gardens thank-you to everyone who’s given time and brought talents, to all of our regular gardeners and behind-the-scenes volunteers who make the space beautiful and productive, a round of applause for our administrator, fundraiser and ideas person Vicki Lewis, who organised the event – and a wave to everyone who came along to enjoy the day.


Abbey Gardens Summer Fete – a free event for all ages: Saturday 25 July 2015


Abbey Gardens Summer Fete – a free event for all ages on Saturday 25 July 2015 from 1pm – 4pm

Come along to try an array of activities and enjoy the garden:

  • Talk by Neil Fraser, author of Over the Border: The Other East End
  • Exhibition of archive images from the garden
  • Enjoy music from the Regent Community Brass Band
  • Buy fresh produce, as well as homemade pickles, jams and chutneys on our honesty stall
  • Children’s activities, including a Treasure Hunt and a potato and spoon race
  • Delicious food created by Vegan Peasant
  • And our ever-popular tea and cake stall All activities are free. Drinks, food and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

The 2nd Abbey Gardens Pétanque Tournament, Sat 27 June, 3pm, only £2 entry per person


We would like to announce the Second Annual Abbey Gardens Pétanque Tournament, on Saturday 27 June at 3pm in the garden.

Enter now to win the “Bernstein cup” and to help raise funds for the weekly gardening sessions.

Pétanque is the fun, popular summer game (similar to boules) where teams of two throw hollow metal balls as close as possible to the “piglet” (a small wooden ball).

Teams and individuals (who will be paired with other interested parties) can register for the tournament by email. Teams can also be registered in person on the day of the tournament (by 2:30pm).

Entry fee is only £2 per person and all proceeds will go to running the Abbey Gardens weekly gardening sessions. There will also be beverages for sale on the day with proceeds benefiting the garden.

Be the pétanque champion of Abbey Gardens!


Graphics kindly supplied by Catherine French

Planting for containers – and the Big Lunch


Materials, behaviour, light, height… garden club leader Hamish’s workshop on planting for containers even covered different weights of drainage material (something to think about if you’re planting for a balcony). New ideas, new knowledge and we hope, happy gardeners! Thank-you to everyone who came along.

If you missed it, come along to one of our garden club sessions, on Tuesdays 1pm – 3pm, Thursdays 4pm – 7pm or Saturdays 10am – 4pm. Our containers, window boxes and gardens all benefit from the things we learn at Abbey Gardens.

And there’ll be a container planting talk by Charlie Seber at The Abbey Gardens Big Lunch on Sunday 7 June, 12 noon – 3pm. Have a lovely lunch, enjoy the garden and meet the neighbours. Bring a dish to share, whether it’s something to go on the BBQ, a salad or savoury for the table, a pudding or a cake. There’ll be prizes for the tastiest food.We’ll provide the soft drinks.

A seed’s eye view of Abbey Gardens


There’s a surprising amount going on inside the seeds that we plant. The first in our new series of workshops has given a fascinating insight into what happens when a seed germinates and what it needs to thrive.

Out in the garden, six varieties of potatoes are in, with more planned. And thanks to veteran gardener Charlie’s sense of adventure we’re trying-out two South American tubers, Oca and Tropaeolum Tuberosa, which has small, nasturtium-like flowers.

Anyone interested in the history of decorative arts, keep an eye on our Acanthus seedlings to see how the leaves develop – Acanthus leaves have been a popular motif through the centuries in carving, illuminated manuscripts and textiles.

Look out for news of our next workshops: we’ll be posting information here and on facebook and Twitter.

Gardening our way around the world


We have no idea what it’s called. But if you can imagine an adze, only bigger, with a thinner blade and a bamboo handle, this surprisingly-light, curved gardening tool from Bangladesh is perfect for the job of breaking-up lumpy soil in London. And here’s regular garden volunteer Loothfur, who brought it to us, showing us how it’s done. Bringing another country into the mix, we’ve been sowing two varieties of chard… and how about some more forget-me-nots, while we’re at it?

Talking of which, (thank you for that link, Cath) a reminder of our FREE propagation workshop:
Propagation from seed in unheated greenhouses or windowsills
Saturday 11th April 11.30am – approx.12.30pm
followed by a practical session in the afternoon. Get some new gardening skills, meet the neighbours and enjoy the garden.


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.



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