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

Butterflies in your Bedroom?

I have a new bad habit: before going to the Gardens, I stop by a Polish café in Stratford for some greasy breakfast.  Two weeks ago, Ashley and I fortified ourselves with sausages, eggs and toast, and this past Saturday I roped Kevin and our friend Vicky into joining me for a tray of forbidden fried foods (Vicky discovered the Gardens on the last Harvest Festival and was immediately enchanted.)  I tell myself that I need to clog my arteries with some good grease in order to get through all the digging, mulching and wheel-barrowing… or maybe it’s just the dawning of chilly winter days that’s making me crave hibernation foods.

Saturday Soup

This past Saturday, despite the English Breakfast sitting in my stomach, I found some space to taste Dasha’s delicious veggie soup after getting some soil turned and rye grass seeds sowed to protect the beds during the winter. Some of the engineers working on the soon-to-open Abbey Road station donated gloves for the Garden’s workers (I predict they’ll soon be in there with us, pulling out weeds), some decisions were made on fundraising for the Garden’s future, some of the children ran back and forth collecting autumn leaves in wheel barrows and dropping them in the compost boxes, and a guided walk was held by Hamish through the beds to highlight ideas for next year’s planting.

During the guided walk, one of the gardners – a man with long white hair tied in a pony tail (apologies for not knowing your name yet!) – told us how he collected white cabbage caterpillars so he could leave them in his grandchildren’s bedroom. Why? So that their bedrooms could be filled with butterflies when they all came out of their cocoons. Another tale confounded us: a visitor to the Gardens had collected all the potato leaves and taken them home to use for a dish. But aren’t potato leaves poisonous, some of us asked ourselves. The consensus seemed to be that yes, they are – but maybe there was a particular way of using them for this dish that side-stepped the poison. Can’t be worse though than an English Breakfast every Saturday!