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

Composting Thoughts


I’m in danger of becoming Abbey Garden’s compost expert. The one I built a month ago shrunk into a nice, warm lump of soil and bacteria rubbing themselves against each other which will soon be ready for our veggie beds. If you stick your hand in it, you can feel the heat and steam as if it were an oven. I like calling it my giant soup, which I’ll keep stirring until it’s ready to be served.

For the past year I’ve been one of the Saturday regulars, arriving usually at 11am and leaving a few hours later. For the past two weeks I’ve had the opportunity to also attend sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays thanks to some overdue annual leave. Yesterday, for example, I pruned and tied some of the fruit trees while the Mind session took place on the other side of the garden. I had time to go through the apple trees and spray the aphids as well as pick one lonesome gooseberry sawfly chewing away at a leaf. I’ve also recently sown some broccoli and baby carrots (don’t ask me, though, their proper names or where I put the seeds’ packet!) and done a lot of watering.

I second Hamish’s wish that we have some rain soon. It’s nice to stand in the garden under this hazy May sun, but I get worried at the cracked soil in some of the beds. We were talking yesterday about the potential of a city-wide ban on hoses, which could negatively affect us. I look at the BBC Weather forecast and wonder what sort of summer we’ll have if we are getting all the sunshine now.

In the meantime, there are three more compost boxes ready to be filled…