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


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

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 

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

12 noon-4pm Fresh produce & craft market
12 noon-3pm Poetry & gardening
3-4pm Local history session (help start a history society) 

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.



A colour feast


There’s colour everywhere you look at the garden this season: artichokes flowering like thistles, blazing Californian poppies, rich red amaranth, little tomatoes like boiled sweets and calendula, still flowering even as it sets seed for next season. There’s structure too as our architectural flowers shed their colours and reveal their shapes. So if you’re after some inspiration, come along: we’re open every day for visitors to enjoy.

But if you’re interested in getting outdoors, doing some practical tasks and even picking up some knowledge for your own gardening, there’s still plenty to do before the end of our gardening season – so pull on your gloves and join in with one of our gardening sessions. They’re on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm (with earlier finish as the evenings get darker) and Saturdays 10am-4pm. They’re free and you can drop in for as much or as little time as you can spare.

The last session of the season is on Saturday 5 November, when our monthly meeting from 2pm will be a discussion of the next season and beyond. So if you’d like to help shape the future of the garden, come along.

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


Floating Cinema launched with Abbey Gardens garland


It’s traditional to launch a barge with beer and a garland. So artists Somewhere, part of The Floating Cinema and designers of Abbey Gardens as project What Will the Harvest Be? decked-out the Duggan Morris-designed 2013 Floating Cinema with Abbey Gardens flowers and greenery for its launch at Crate Brewery in Hackney Wick.

A triumph of an evening, with cinema-gorgeous light. Our best wishes to Somewhere, Up Projects and everyone involved for a wonderful Summer of film, knowledge and canal adventures. The Floating Cinema 2013 programme is here.







Bright ideas at our Spring event

Bright Ideas_blog

Lab, workshop, exhibition space… Abbey Gardens was buzzing with bright ideas at our Spring event. Visitors could hear all about the birdbox project and the new ecoshed, have a go at paper making, get involved in the building of our new weather station, visit the greenhouse to find out about Experiments in Household Knowledge and take a (very) close look at our plant species and bugs.

A huge proud-to-know-you-all thank you to Amanda and colleague from the bird box project, biologists Marleen and Anna, Torange and students from London Metropolitan University, Andreas, Charlie and the French brothers. Ideas being hungry and thirsty work, our appreciation to all bakers and servers for our busy cake stall. Thanks too for warm welcomes at the greeting table and garden chat at the honesty stall. A round of applause to the events team, our Chair Erwan, who now has a donated lectern for his announcements… and after a late start to the growing season, a salute to Growing PlaceE16 in Canning Town for helping to stock our honesty stall for the day, our gardeners and a generous visitor with three fruit trees.

To all of our visitors, thank you for coming along on a glorious Saturday afternoon. We look forward to seeing you again at our garden club sessions and events.


Making sunshine at the Winter Chill

It took some neighbourly help in heavy rain to get the marquee up and lit for our Winter Chill event. But our visitors made their own sunshine: festive tunes by members of All Saints Chorus; candle-making with founding FOAG member Torange Khonsari’s London Metropolitan University students – there were architectural models on display from their project looking at the garden’s back boundary – and wrapping paper printing with Lydia in our cabin, lit by its own solar and wind power. Warming Winter drinks and baked goods kept out the cold… and when we say our events are for all ages, they really are: young Millie, aged two, had fun with some wrapping paper making and leaflets were out for an Experiments in household knowledge walking tour featuring our veteran innovator Charlie Seber.

Many thanks to all who braved the weather to set up, help and visit!

Next up: our EGM (Extraordinary General Meeting) on Saturday 1 December at 2pm in the cabin. Garden club leader Hamish will be running a special garden club session that day.

Abbey Gardens in The London Garden Book A-Z

Abbey Gardens is in The London Garden Book A-Z by Abigail Willis – a tour of london’s horticultural hotspots with a rundown of London’s contemporary gardening scene, its flower shows, horticultural events and practical advice on how to meet the challenges of urban gardening. What Will The Harvest Be is Somewhere’s art project behind the design and social approach of the garden.

Not the opening ceremony

At Abbey Gardens, we’re so close to the Olympic Park action that we can hear the cheery volunteers on the Greenway. On opening night, we hosted the Floating Cinema‘s alternative east end celebration and social outdoor film screening Not the opening ceremony. At dusk, Marcus Coates’ film ‘Vision quest: a Ritual for Elephant & Castle’ was screened and snacks were served made from Abbey Gardens produce. Our location gave us our very own flypast as the Red Arrows sped towards the stadium – and a view of the fireworks!

Our next events for your diary:

NGS Gardens Open for Charity, Saturday 8 Sept 10am – 5pm Admission £2.

Harvest Festival, Saturday 22 Sept from 2-5pm, admission free. We’ll be celebrating four years of gardening with a traditional fourth anniversary theme of fruit and flowers and lots of activities led by our very own gardeners.


Not the opening ceremony!

The Floating Cinema and Friends of Abbey Gardens invite you to join us for an alternative East End celebration and social outdoor film night at the most glamorous community garden in East London – yes Abbey Gardens.
At dusk, Marcus Coates’ brilliantly inventive film ‘Vision Quest: A Ritual for Elephant & Castle‘ will be screened, and there may also be a chance to get a sneak peek of nearby fireworks! Refreshments from garden produce will be served and you are welcome to bring a picnic, drinks will be available for donations.

Please be aware this event coincides with the Olympic Opening Ceremony, so we strongly recommend walking or cycling to the garden to avoid transport / access problems.

Friday the 27th of July from 7.30 – 11.00 pm

To book a place please RSVP to laura ‘at’ upprojects.com 

Hands-on Urbanism 1850 – 2012

Abbey Gardens is included in an interesting exhibition about Hands-on urbanism which will open in Vienna at the Architecture Centre on the 14th of March 2012. If you are around please drop in, have a look and let us know what you think. (address below)

”Hands-on / practical, involving action, based on active participation
Urbanism / urbanization; the culture and way of life of urban dwellers

Hands-on urbanism, bottom-up urbanism and irregular urbanization are not the exception to the rule – they are driving forces behind the urban development and often behind changes in urban policy. From the onset of industrialization, first in Europe and North America and then in the Southern hemisphere, to today’s neoliberal, developer-driven global city, the history of urban transformation processes unfolds as a sequence of critical situations. Gardening and informal settling are indicative of these crises. Taking root from below, these self-organized, self-help practices are dynamic and inspiring agencies of change” (Elke Krasny, curator)

In conjunction with the exhibition a book is published in German with Turia + Kant Verlag, Vienna and in English with MCCM Creations, Hongkong. The book contains 26 essays, including new texts, but also reprints of texts by Jane Addams and John F.C. Turner 356 pages, 300 photographs. Hopefully you can find a copy of the book in the Abbey Gardens library very soon.

Also accompanying the exhibition is a very interesting programme of events.
You can download the PDF flyer here.

Architekturzentrum Wien
Museumsplatz 1 im
1070 Wien, Österreich
T +43 1 522 31 15
F +43 1 522 31 17