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

wildlife

Flowering food and busy bees

Flowering artichokes! Bees! We’ve seen as many as five bees busying themselves on a single flower this Saturday – one of the joys of sometimes letting our edible plants go to seed.

The humans have been busy as well… A massive thank you to the group of young people from NCS The Challenge Newham, who cleared a big section of raised bed for new planting. Garden club leader Candace harvested calendula seed, which we planted straight away to make four new patches of flowers. Torange was prototyping a new raised bed structure, part of future planning for the garden. Our neatest planter George is back, looking after spring onions and garlic chives. And not only was our family of gardeners in to water recently-planted crops; their little girls were drawing too!

Fancy joining us for some community gardening? Our free, drop-in sessions are on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm, tools and gloves provided. Our sessions are open to anyone interested in gardening, whether you’re a knowledgeable gardener or completely new to growing food and flowers. Children are welcome to come and garden with parents or carers.

Our garden year

It’s that time when we look back at the gardening year and ahead to future plans. We’ve grown some amazing things in 2018’s hot summer (Grapes! In West Ham! Who knew?). The garden has brought together people from all corners of our community to grow food and flowers, swap gardening tips and tell their stories. We’ve seen some amazing wildlife. We’ve welcomed fantastic teams of corporate volunteers and Triangle Market’s organisers and stallholders. And we’ve grown new partnerships.

In early 2019 we’ll be swapping ideas and making plans for the season to come. Meanwhile, we wish all of our gardeners, behind the scenes volunteers, funders, visitors, project partners, corporate volunteers and friends a wonderful festive season and a happy New Year.

Clearing, sowing and wrapping-up: it’s Autumn in the garden, with news of our end-of-season sessions and Winter gardening

Autumn is full of variety at our community gardening sessions. On the approach to the garden, the morning glory planted by Charlie and dahlias planted by the garden’s designers Nina and Karen give a burst of colour. We’ve been doing so much end-of-season clearing that our compost queen Nancy needed helpers to haul it all into the store. A new gardener has has brought a meticulous approach to preparing cleared beds for green manure seed. Garden club leader Alison has gathered-in and shared-out all of the remaining green tomatoes for chutney, fried green tomatoes, soups and more. George has harvested other end of season crops to share. Lorna’s careful cutting back of the mint has enabled new growth to spring up between the Autumn leaves. And our new feathered garden visitor has been sighted again – we think she’s a female sparrowhawk. It’s a real treat to see her in our urban setting.

We’re coming up to the end of our 2018 gardening season:

Our regular weekly gardening sessions finish with our Tuesday session 30 October 1pm-3pm, our Thursday session 1 November 4pm until dusk and our Saturday session on 3 November from 11am-4pm.

Then there’s our Winter gardening session on Saturday December 1st, 11am – 3pm. which will be our final session for 2018. This will also be Alison’s last session as Garden Leader so please do come along for some festive treats and to say farewell and thank you to her! 

We will also have garden volunteer meetings on both Saturday November 3rd and Saturday December 1st, starting at 12noon.

A wild visitor at our drop-in gardening session

Drop-in just got a whole new meaning at our Thursday gardening session: we were joined by what we think was a female sparrowhawk, perching on the back wall and the wind turbine and swooping down to the raised beds. A very rare sight in the garden and a wildlife treat as we get towards the end of our gardening season.

Come and join us for our last regular gardening sessions of the season: Saturday 27 October 11am-4pm and Tuesday 30 October 1pm-3pm. There will also be a Saturday session on 3 November, 11am-4pm. And look out for news of special Winter gardening sessions.