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

Spud Saturday: bringing in the potato harvest

Potatoes. Useful, versatile, even – but you probably wouldn’t put ‘potatoes’ and ‘fun’ in the same sentence… unless you’ve had a go at growing them. Lifting potatoes is like digging-up treasure: one plant can have an astonishing variety of spud sizes, from enormous right down to pearl-sized. And then there are the comedy veg (this year, we give you duck potatoes). Harvest done, the soil is in lovely condition and the tops have been chopped-up for compost. Our Saturday gardeners have had potatoes to take home and we’ve had plenty left for the honesty stall. If you’re passing the garden, take a bag and put a donation in the coin slot.

So, what’ll it be? Jacket potato, roasties, chunky chips, mash or salad?

If you’d like to join in with our food growing and find out how to grow your own, join us at our free drop-in gardening sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

Twirly carrots, snail hangouts and a haircut for the tomatoes

Tomato hairdressing, anyone? Fancy discovering where snails hang out? Or are twirly carrots your thing? We’ve had all of that at our Saturday drop-in gardening session, with friends dropping in to garden, family gardening and some visitors keen to pick our brains for their startup growing space.

The garden is lush after the week’s showers so we’ve been giving our tomatoes some space to ripen. We’ve had our best-ever carrot harvest. More poppy seed heads have been prepared for decorations. We’ve been clearing the broad bean and pea plants ready for the next crops to go in – and the clearings will become compost to go back into the raised beds.

Join in, enjoy the space, come along and ask us things… our free, drop-in community gardening sessions are on Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm, Thursdays from 4pm-7pm and Saturdays from 11am-4pm. 

Sunflowers and rainy pruning

“It’s good for the garden!” We’ve had rain. Lots of it. Waterproofs all round, then, for a guest visit to the garden by Hamish Liddle to share his fruit tree pruning wisdom. And the odd dash to the cabin to share cake and shelter from the heaviest downpours. Our sunflowers, though, have brought their own sunshine and with all the warmth and water, Abbey Gardens is looking lush.

Whether you’d like to join in with some gardening, enjoy some peace in a lovely urban greenspace or meet the neighbours,  come along to our free drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm,-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk. And look out for our community events – our Harvest Festival will be on Saturday September 30th.

 

 

Busy bees

We were busy as bees last weekend… then the bees showed us just how busy they’ve been! Just look at that pollen, captured by designer Cath French.

We grow a lot of bee-friendly plants at the garden so if you’d like to find out more, come and join us at one of our free drop-in garden club sessions: Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

 

Busy as bees

Gardening stuff; creative stuff; connecting with the community stuff… there’s always something to do at the garden. Thirsty tomatoes, courgettes, pumpkins, beans and squash have been watered. Tomato plants have been tidied-up to give them space to fruit. Garden club leader Alison has been experimenting with turning our poppy seed heads into decorations. Nancy has been putting together bags of garden goodies for the honesty stall (this weekend: courgettes, onions, rosemary and mint – If you’d like one, come by, take a bag and leave a donation). And the bees have been busy on the sunflowers.

Fancy joining in? Our drop-in gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

Hello July!

It’s Summer in the garden and after a good watering from the week’s showers, we’ve been wrenching out bindweed and delving into the rapidly-growing tomatoes to give the flowers some space. New seedlings have gone in, seeds have been sown and we’ve had time to admire the echinacea, watch the wildlife and share some cake. And did we mention artichoke antlers? There were artichoke antlers, from maintenance cutting back our huge and very productive artichoke plants for their next season.

There are so many different ways to join in with our free drop-in gardening sessions: hefty jobs, dainty jobs, sociable jobs, solo jobs – and just enjoying the beauty and peace of this lovely urban green space. If you fancy a go or you’ve always wondered what this garden is, our sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm. The garden is open to visitors every day from dawn ’til dusk.

 

Twisty carrots, black-eyed peas, family fruit bush planting and an aubergine hat

Community gardening is full of surprises… Thinning out our carrots this Saturday, we’ve pulled out all manner of candytwist shapes. The beautiful red leaves by the cabin turn out to be black-eyed peas, planted by Ami. Our courgettes are such a rich purply green that they look as though they’re trying to be aubergines. And veteran gardener Charlie, dapper as ever, has been sporting an aubergine beanie hat.

There’s been much watering, Alison and Margaret have been tending the tomatoes, Nancy and Ella have been composting, George has been putting in sweet potatoes and Dasha has been planting fruit bushes, with Yuriko and her children.

Fancy joining us? Come along to our free drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm or Saturdays 11am-4pm. Or just visit our lovely urban growing space and say hello (we’re also open to visitors every day from dawn to dusk).

Abbey Gardens does The Big Lunch

From veteran visitors to our littlest gardeners, we’ve had people of all ages at the garden for The Big Lunch. And we’ve had food from all corners of the world: Freshly-made Chinese dumplings, lamingtons, quiche, pizzas made in a portable pizza oven… all in weather that’s brought the Mediterranean to West Ham.

We’ve even done some gardening – watering has been a great way of cooling down (grown-ups with the hose, kids with water pistols).

Welcome, all, a big thank-you to our lovely singer Lucy May Walker, to Cath French for donating her design skills to the publicity, to everyone who cooked and helped – and we just love the banner drawn by one of our youngest supporters.

Our picnic rug shows food stories collected in 2012. We hope that today has made new food stories for everyone who came along.

Join us for some gardening or just to enjoy the space. Our gardening sessions are on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.

 

Abbey Gardens The Big Lunch 2017 and Summer Fair, Saturday 17th June

Saturday 17th June 12 noon – 3pm
Abbey Gardens, Bakers Row, London E13 3NF (next to Abbey Road DLR)

Bring a dish to share, have a lovely lunch, meet the neighbours and enjoy the garden.
Seasonal produce from the garden on our honesty stall
Our ever-popular tea and cake stall
Plus live musical entertainment

Teas, coffees and honesty stall produce for donations to the garden.

Teamwork and tomatoes

Clearing the raised bed – and enjoying the fragrance from the lavender
Composting and digging it over
Counting the seedlings so that we know how many supports they need
Building the framework of tomato supports
Planting the seedlings
Watering them in
…that’s just one of the week’s tasks, done in a relay of people working together and helping each other when jobs were done, with tools from our beautifully-tidied cabin (Thank you, Moody’s corporate volunteers!).

A community, gardening.

On the honesty stall this weekend: artichokes. Come by; take a bag; leave a small donation.

Join us on Saturday 17 June for The Big Lunch and our Summer Fair: 12 noon – 3pm
Bring a dish to share, have a lovely lunch, meet the neighbours and enjoy the garden.
Plentiful produce from the garden on our honesty stall
Our ever-popular tea and cake stall
Plus live musical entertainment to be confirmed

More details to follow very soon…

Meanwhile, there are our free drop-in gardening sessions on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm and Saturdays 11am-4pm.