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

Springing into action

Spring! A bit of warm sunshine has brought new gardeners, old friends and visitors into Abbey Gardens. We’ve been mapping what’s there, clearing ready for Spring planting, preparing raised beds for sowing, thinning young plants and enjoying the pop of colour from Spring bulbs. We’ve marvelled at the number of tubers one dahlia can produce, paused to watch butterflies and bees and put some teamwork into lifting stubborn hyssop roots.

Fancy joining us? Whether you’re new to gardening or an old hand, you’ll be very welcome. Our free, drop-in gardening sessions are on Saturdays from 11am-4pm, Tuesdays from 1pm-3pm and Thursdays from 4pm-7pm. Tools and gloves provided, no experience necessary.

Getting the gardening started

The daffs are ready and so are we. Welcome to the 2017 gardening season!

At the first of our regular sessions of the year, we’ve been looking after overwintered plants, harvesting, seed-saving, clearing and composting – and there’s been the all-important gardeners’ tea break.

And we’ve held our Annual General Meeting, looking back at the 2016 growing season and ahead at future plans. A big thank-you to the wonderful School 21 for hosting us.

If you’d like to get outdoors, get active and grow food and flowers with your neighbours, come along to one of our regular drop-in gardening sessions:

Saturday 11am-4pm
Tuesday 1pm-3pm
Thursday 4pm-7pm

New gardeners are always welcome, no experience necessary and tools and gloves are provided.

 

Welcome to our 2017 gardening season

We’re starting our new gardening season with our Saturday drop-in session on 4 March – with a new time of 11am – 4pm. Our weekday sessions are Tuesdays 1pm – 3pm and Thursdays 4pm – 7pm.

We garden and harvest together: join in for as much or as little time as you can spare, get stuck in with some spadework or do one of the delicate jobs. New gardeners are always welcome – no experience necessary. Or just come and say hello and enjoy the peaceful green space.

Our AGM will take place on Sunday 5 March at 2pm, at School 21, London E15 4RZ. It’s a great opportunity to find out more about the running of the garden and volunteer your organisational or practical skills for the behind-the-scenes work that helps make the garden grow. Please arrive promptly at the back entrance of School 21 on New Mount Street. The main front gate and reception on Pitchford Street are closed at the weekend.

 

 

Get involved in your local community garden

There are all sorts of ways to get involved in Abbey Gardens – whether you want to get active, learn about growing food and flowers, take pictures, meet the neighbours, catch up on local chat, join in with the maintenance, volunteer your skills behind the scenes – or just enjoy this peaceful urban green space.

We’re getting ready to start the spring season. Pictured top left, Alison Skeate is our garden club leader – a local resident who set up the Dirty Hands project, Alison has been busy getting to know the garden, seed collecting and experimenting with things we can make from the plants we grow. Designer Cath French, above left, has been taking pictures to show just how much new growth is in the garden, even in February. And there’ll be lots more going on, doing maintenance and planning planting.

Dates for your diary:

Our 2017 gardening season starts on Saturday 4 March from 11am to 4pm. Weekday sessions are on Tuesdays from 1pm to 3pm and on Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm. Our sessions are drop-in so you can stay for the whole session or pop in for as long as you have. We have monthly meetings on the first Saturday of the month at 2pm in the cabin (no meeting on 4th March because of the AGM the next day) – everyone is welcome who’s interested to hear garden news or help behind the scenes.

Our AGM will take place on Sunday 5 March at 2pm, at School 21, London E15 4RZ. Please arrive promptly at the back entrance of School 21 on New Mount Street. The main front gate and reception on Pitchford Street are closed at the weekend.

Fantastic frost and the 2017 gardening season

We couldn’t get into planning for the Spring season without showing you some more of Cath French’s frost pictures. Inspired? We get some wonderful light in the garden and it’s open to visitors from dawn to dusk.

If you look closely, you’ll see new growth popping up all over the garden so it’s a great time to discuss developments and plan the planting season.

There’s a Winter drop-in gardening session on Saturday 4 February from 10am to 4pm. The first garden meeting of the year will take place at 2pm in the cabin. We’ll be planning the planting for the season collaboratively so if you have ideas or would like to get involved, come and join us.

Our 2017 gardening season starts on Saturday 4 March from 11am to 4pm. Weekday sessions are on Tuesdays from 1pm to 3pm and on Thursdays from 4pm to 7pm.

New gardeners and behind-the-scenes volunteers are always welcome – or just come and say hello and enjoy the garden.

Our AGM will take place on Sunday 5 March at 2pm, at School 21, London E15 4RZ. Please arrive promptly at the back entrance of School 21 on New Mount Street. The main front gate and reception on Pitchford Street are closed at the weekend.

 

Hello 2017!

cathmontage_600

Happy New Year and happy gardening!

We’ve had some fantastic frosty days in the garden (pics here by Cath French) and as the days get lighter and new shoots appear, we’ll be looking ahead to the Spring gardening season.

Our next Winter gardening session will be on Saturday 4 February from 10am to 4pm, with our monthly meeting at 2pm, when you can find out the latest news and get involved behind the scenes.

Our 2017 gardening season will start on Saturday 4 March – our drop-in Saturday sessions are from 11am to 4pm. Gardening sessions also take place on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm and Thursdays 4pm-7pm

Our AGM will take place on Sunday 5 March at 2pm, at School 21, London E15 4RZ. Please arrive promptly at the back entrance of School 21 on New Mount Street. The main front gate and reception on Pitchford Street are closed at the weekend.

 

 

Planting the seeds for 2017

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Jack Frost has visited the garden (thank you Cath French for these gorgeous pictures) and so can you!

Our last gardening session of the season is on Saturday 3rd December from 10am-3pm. Drop in, say hello and help look after this beautiful growing space.

The last garden meeting of the year will take place this Saturday 3rd December at 2pm in the cabin. We’ll be discussing the outcomes of the November meeting as well as planning the planting for the next season. Everyone who’s interested in the garden is welcome so if you’re new to the neighbourhood and would like to find out more or get involved, come along.

Or just come and enjoy the peaceful space of the winter garden.

Our regular gardening sessions will resume in the 2017 growing season.

Winter gardening

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As the leaves fall and the nights draw in, we come to the end of our growing season and our weekly gardening sessions finish for the year.

But there will be a Winter gardening session, from 10am to 4pm, on Saturday 4 February. We’ll be collecting seeds, clearing, preparing the soil for next season and doing some maintenance. So whether you enjoy delicate jobs, fancy some energetic digging-over and compost-shovelling or are handy at helping with repairs, you’ll be very welcome.

There’s always plenty to help with behind the scenes too so if you’ve passed the garden on your way to the station and would like to find out more or volunteer your skills, get in touch – we’ll be happy to hear from you.

Making, saving, tasting

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There are all sorts of ways to make the most of the harvest. Even Autumn clearings can find a new use.

Alison Skeate, who’s leading our gardening sessions, has been busy… Regular gardener Charlie’s request to lift the horseradish from the comfrey plot has become an opportunity to try out a horseradish sauce recipe. Calendula petals will go into an experiment in making calendula oil. Seeds have been saved in seed packets made by folding waste paper and used catalogue pages. And when we have this many colours of tomato, we just have to make a pattern out of them (but they’ll be used too – we all have our favourite ways of using up the last of the tomato harvest, from sauce to fried green tomatoes to chutney).

There’s looking-ahead to do too. Garlic, onions and shallots have been planted for next season and we’re starting to discuss planting plans. And at the last gardening session of the season on Saturday 5 November, our monthly meeting from 2pm will be a discussion of the next season and beyond. So if you’d like to help shape the future of the garden, come along.

A colour feast

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There’s colour everywhere you look at the garden this season: artichokes flowering like thistles, blazing Californian poppies, rich red amaranth, little tomatoes like boiled sweets and calendula, still flowering even as it sets seed for next season. There’s structure too as our architectural flowers shed their colours and reveal their shapes. So if you’re after some inspiration, come along: we’re open every day for visitors to enjoy.

But if you’re interested in getting outdoors, doing some practical tasks and even picking up some knowledge for your own gardening, there’s still plenty to do before the end of our gardening season – so pull on your gloves and join in with one of our gardening sessions. They’re on Tuesdays 1pm-3pm, Thursdays 4pm-7pm (with earlier finish as the evenings get darker) and Saturdays 10am-4pm. They’re free and you can drop in for as much or as little time as you can spare.

The last session of the season is on Saturday 5 November, when our monthly meeting from 2pm will be a discussion of the next season and beyond. So if you’d like to help shape the future of the garden, come along.