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

Garden

Saturday planting

We have a planting plan! We have seedlings! We have people! It’s been all go at the garden this Saturday, preparing raised beds for planting, adding compost and getting in some of this year’s crops.

There’s a job for everyone, from junior gardeners to grown-ups, delicate jobs, expert jobs, hefty jobs (compost shovelling, anyone?), some people pop in for a short time and some stay for the whole session.

Our free community gardening sessions are on Saturdays, from 1pm to 5pm, tools and gloves provided. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener without a plot to tend, new to the neighbourhood or you’ve often walked past and wondered what we do, drop by and say hello. You’ll be very welcome.

Community in the garden

Community gardening is as much about community as it is about the garden.

This Saturday, we had neighbours gardening, people dropping in to say hello, catch up on progress and swap knowledge, our compost queen Nancy with a map for School 21 showing the system that produces such amazing compost for the garden, we were delighted to have a visit from veteran gardener Charlie (to see the enormous milk thistle in the garden) and the whole thing was fuelled by rock buns, baked in the morning two blocks away.

Our free community gardening sessions are on Saturdays from 1pm-5pm. Drop in, help out, stop by to find out what we do or just come in to enjoy the beautiful flowers. 

Meet Rosie, our new gardening session leader

Meet our new garden session leader, Rosie Jackson!

Rosie, who also works at the wonderful Organiclea, brings horticulture and food knowledge to the garden and has a particular interest in food-growing.

Our free, drop in community gardening sessions are on Saturdays this year, from 1pm – 5pm. So whether you’re a regular gardener or new to the garden, drop by and join in. Rosie is keen to hear what we enjoy about community gardening and what we would like to grow this season.

We’re starting the season later than usual this year. So a shout-out to neighbours growing food and flower seedlings in their gardens, allotments or on balconies: if you have a few spare seedlings you can donate, we’ll be delighted to have them! Bring them along to one of our Saturday gardening sessions. You might even be in time for a cup of tea and a bun!

 

Saturday gardening sessions from 4th May

Come and join us for some community gardening, from Saturday 4th May!

Our gardening sessions are on Saturdays, from 1pm-5pm. Drop in at any time during the session or stay for the afternoon.

Sessions are free, tools and gloves are provided, no experience necessary. Children are welcome to come along and garden with their parents or carers.

Planning for a fruitful garden

Fruit tree pruning is highly technical stuff. It’s also strategic – you have to think about where you want the tree to go. So Karen Guthrie and Nina Pope from Somewhere, who designed the garden, followed our visioning meeting by applying some strategy to the espalier-trained fruit trees along the back wall.

It’s also been a pleasure to welcome new neighbours to our meeting, keen to get involved and bring their own stories and skills to the garden.

If you’re looking forward to getting outdoors for some Spring gardening, there will be informal Saturday volunteering sessions every Saturday in March from 1pm to 4pm, with trustee Marie Helson.

Pictured: Karen Guthrie. Nina Pope and founder member of Friends of Abbey Gardens Andreas Lang.

 

Future Vision of the Garden: a workshop on Saturday 2 February

Abbey Gardens has now been running successfully for 11 years. This is incredible, especially on limited resources. The garden has been managed primarily by volunteers since its conception and like any organisation, it needs to have a new life to be fit for the future.

We are hosting a visioning workshop session on:
Saturday 2 February 2019
10:30 am – 12:30 pm
Abbey Gardens Cabin – Bakers Row – E15 

This is open to all members, but we would very much like to have input from actively involved gardeners and behind the scenes volunteers.

Book your place by emailing Torange at:
Mail@abbeygardens.org

Thank you!

It’s that time of year again, when we say thank you to everyone who has helped make the garden grow.

Thank you to all of our gardeners and behind the scenes volunteers, to our trustees, to our funders, to everyone in the neighbourhood who piles in to help set up events and to the amazing teams of corporate volunteers who bring their energy to big garden tasks.

Thanks also to the Triangle Market team and stallholders for bringing the market  – and new visitors – to the garden this Summer.

And we’ll be saying farewell to our garden club leader Alison Skeat at our Winter gardening session on Saturday 1 December, 11am-3pm with a garden meeting at midday and festive treats for volunteers.

Look out for news of the 2019 garden season.

The great Abbey Gardens cabbage harvest

Cabbage. Half a raised bed of it. On the last weekly gardening session of the season, Marie has harvested the lot, Alison has transported them to the cabin by barrow and Nancy has set to composting the leavings (and plenty more cleared garden waste besides). The cabbages have been shared amongst the day’s volunteers, with plenty left over for the honesty stall. We’ll be eating our greens!

Our 2018 regular gardening sessions have now finished for the season. But there’ll be a Winter gardening day on Saturday 1 December from 11am-3pm, with a volunteers’ meeting at 12 noon. Join us to help out in the garden, hear garden news and plans for 2019 and to say farewell to garden club leader Alison. Check here and on social media for news of our 2019 AGM, when we’ll be looking back at the 2018 season and forward to the next year in the garden.

 

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.