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

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 

 

Fruitful gardening

Propagating, sowing, planting, weeding… for months in the garden, it’s all about preparation. Then, suddenly, crops are setting, fruiting, growing skywards and ready for supports (thanks, Cath, for the Bakers Row bamboo). Nothing goes to waste: clippings go to compost and crops finished and cleared to make space for new seedlings go onto the honesty stall. On a warm gardening day, there’s been iced mint tea made by garden club leader Alison. And thanks to trustee Marie, the cabin is all neat and tidy for our next flurry of Summer gardening.

Fancy joining us to help maintain this lovely green space, get active, discover new ingredients, swap gardening tips and meet the neighbours? Our free, friendly drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Tools and gloves are provided; no gardening experience necessary. Stay for the whole session, pop in to help for a short while or just come and enjoy the peaceful urban green space. 

 

Planning, planting, harvesting, collecting

June! Time for planning Summer events, collaborations, activities and repairs at our volunteers’ meeting. We’ve been planting more seeds and seedlings donated by our volunteers – this week, bee-friendly flower mix and pumpkins – and seeing crops planted earlier in the season doing well. In our harvest for the day’s volunteers has been a surprise haul of new potatoes, self-seeded among other crops (we only harvest in gardening sessions or for our events, so that we harvest at the right time and can keep track of the crops we grow). And we’ve been collecting information, to build up a picture of activity over the season. And there’s been epic composting.

More events news soon…

Meanwhile, if you’d like to join us for some community gardening, our free, friendly drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Tools and gloves are provided; no gardening experience necessary. Stay for the whole session, pop in to help for a short while or just come and enjoy the peaceful urban green space. 

The generosity of gardeners

People have been arriving at our gardening sessions carrying mysterious bags and boxes of plants…

Our greenhouse is awaiting repairs this season so our gardeners have been propagating plants in their own spaces, sourcing new things for us to grow and bringing us their spare seedlings. This welcome generosity is bringing with it edible crops and flowers as varied as our volunteers. And because we garden and harvest together, there’s plenty of help with choosing spaces, planting and watering-in.

The garden is giving back, as gardens do: this week, perfectly-formed mounds of healthy green herbs so lovely that we can’t resist stroking them like pets and big drifts of colour from the irises joining the allium in flower.

A date for your diary:
June volunteers’ meeting
Saturday 2 June, 12 noon at the garden 
Come along to hear about and discuss the latest on news, plans and progress.
There will also be our usual Saturday gardening session from 11am-4pm.

Our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, ask us about the garden or just come and enjoy the peaceful green space. 

 

Sunshine, teamwork and random parsnips

 

It takes teamwork to tend a community garden – and on a hot, blue sky Saturday we’ve had a good turnout, clearing around the fruit trees, tidying the raised beds and planting new seeds. Rows of mizuna have gone in and this year, we’re trying okra for the first time. Also new this year is our grapevine, making its way along the hot back wall. Not new but astonishing have been the random parsnips popping up all over the garden… we had no idea that they were so good at self-seeding! There’s colour in the garden too, from vigorous orange calendula plants and vivid pink allium.

Fancy joining us? It’s a wonderful time of year to enjoy the garden.

Our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, come and say hello if you’d like to find out more about the garden – or just come and enjoy the peaceful green space. 

How’s it growing? Seeing and sorting in the Spring garden

With Summer temperatures in April, it’s felt as though the garden has been making up for lost time. We’re getting active too, sorting seeds, turning over the compost and finding spaces for sowings of Summer crops.

While our greenhouse awaits repairs, some of our gardeners are sowing seeds off-site that are started-off in pots or trays. The seedlings will be brought to the garden for planting.

And we’re looking forward to welcoming more corporate volunteers to the garden this season, tackling some of our team tasks.

Fancy joining us for some community gardening? Our free, drop-in sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Stay for the whole session, pop in for an hour, come and say hello if you’d like to find out more about the garden – or just come and enjoy the peaceful green space.

 

In the pink

In the first gloriously-sunny Spring Saturday of the season, we’ve been preparing. The first raised bed to be repaired is nearly empty of soil and at the other end of the garden, we’re weeding and clearing to nurture overwintered plants and make space for new planting.

The greenhouse is awaiting repairs and expansion so this year, we’re sowing some crops direct in the garden and seeds that need a warm start are being propagated off site by gardeners and friends who have spare growing space.

Whether it’s a bit of energetic shovelling you’re after, some precise planting or just a stroll in a lovely urban green space, come and join us at our free drop-in community gardening sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

Spring is springing at Abbey Gardens

The fruit trees are in blossom, buds are bursting into leaf everywhere, ladybirds are out and about… there’s so much to see in Spring. Even the snails are fascinating close up.

We’ve been busy moving plants from the raised beds that’ll be first for repairs, weeding and tidying to give overwintered crops and herbs some space and chatting with garden visitors curious to know what we do.

Our free, drop-in gardening sessions led by our garden club leader Alison Skeat are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm or Saturdays 11am-4pm. Unlike an allotment, we garden and harvest together. Tools and gloves are provided. Come for the whole session or just drop in for as long as you have. There are energetic jobs, gentle jobs or if you just want to come and enjoy the peaceful green space of the garden, that’s fine too.

We also welcome corporate volunteers, clubs, school groups, visitors from other community and gardening projects and academic researchers. If you’re interested in organising a session, visit, workshop or activity with us, contact us to find out more.

Lifting and shifting for running repairs

Hardy things, our raised beds: originally designed to last three years, they’ve done sterling service for many more (thank you, artists Somewhere!). But it’s time for some structural repairs. To enable this to happen, we’re working on blocks of raised beds, shifting the soil from each raised bed onto the next, to go back again after repair.

It’s a hefty job so if you fancy getting stuck in to some shovelling, come along to one of our drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm or Saturdays 11am-4pm. Or if you have a team of corporate or club volunteers that would like to help, we’d love to hear from you!

At the other end of the garden, we’re into planting and sowing season so there are plenty of tasks to get involved with. We garden and harvest together so whether you’re an old hand or completely new to gardening, you’ll be welcome. Or just visit the garden, say hello and enjoy the peaceful green space.

Digging it

Green manure. We sow it in the Autumn and in Spring it – well – springs up. Chopping it up and digging it in aren’t the most glamorous jobs in the garden. But mindful chopping of a whole raised bed of greenery is a wonderful thing in the midst of hectic city life. There’s space around you and big sky above. There’s satisfaction in leafy goodness dug in, ready for the season’s planting.

And did we mention the exercise? Getting stuck in to one of our more energetic tasks is a great way to get active. Just don’t say it’s too easy – or garden club leader Alison will put your name down for the Horseradish Challenge…

Our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. Come along at any time during the session. Tools and gloves are provided.