Abbey Gardens viewed from the Webcam

Popes win prizes

Judah (1st in the flower arranging) and Nick (3rd prize cake!)
Judah (1st in the flower arranging) and Nick (3rd prize cake!)

This is my brother Nick and his son Judah. Now, this is a man who prior to recent years was rarely seen to eat a vegetable let alone grow or cook one - and yesterday he took third prize in the cake competition made with his own home-grown carrots! I sadly walked away from the flower arranging empty handed despite (IMHO) a very nice (home grown) Dahlia number ... I was beaten by Judah - my own Nephew ... I had no sway on the judges despite taking notes for them.

Topics: [competitions] [Harvest Festival]

Harvest Festival - A Triumph

Gary & team serve lunch to an appreciative queue
Gary & team serve lunch to an appreciative queue

Massive congratulation to all the Friends of Abbey Gardens for a fantastic event on Saturday for the Harvest Festival. We had about 110 visitors I think, a busy cake stall, lots of produce and seeds 'sold' from the honesty stall, live music and some seriously good food - all straight from the garden and cooked by FOAG member Gary with his partner Elizabetta joining forces with George and Jason as chef's assistants.

I really enjoyed the whole day ... except maybe for the competition judging ... 

Topics: [Harvest Festival]

Double Date

Obviously if you're reading our blog and you're free on Saturday you are most likely to be coming to our Harvest Festival (!) but for any of you who are super keen to visit gardens in the capital, tomorrow is the last chance to see the temporary garden the Union Street Urban Orchard near London Bridge.

Their approach is very different to our own 'slow gardening' ethos but the two sites would make a very interesting double day out. Rather conveniently their event begins just about at the end of ours!

Getting ready for the big day ...

Hamish & Gary with the produce for Saturday
Hamish & Gary with the produce for Saturday

We harvested a lot of the produce for the Harvest Festival yesterday evening - here's Gary about to take it all away to prepare - no mean feat! 

Topics: [Harvest Festival]

Harvest Festival

Come and enjoy this years Harvest Festival at the garden - anyone who came last year can tell you what a great day out it was!

11am Bring your competition entries:
* Bake a garden-themed cake or traybake (to be served at 3pm, after judgingPlease mark your container with your name, name of cake and ingredients
 * Build a plant portrait: a head or face made from fruit and vegetables. Label your plant portrait with your name and age
 * Make a flower arrangement on the theme of ‘What will the harvest be?’ in own container (not exceeding 75cm h x 50cm w x 50cm d)

12 noon Harvest Festival opens
Garden tours, tea and cake throughout the afternoon

12-3pm Activities
 * Build a head or face from vegetables to enter into our plant portrait competition
 * Print a patchwork of patterns with potatoes and natural plant dyes and juices
 * Make a miniature bouquet of paper collage flowers
 * Sew some bunting or take away a piece to sew at home

1.30pm Cookery and tastings

2pm Live flower arranging (entries can be submitted to the competition)

3pm Competition judging

4pm Harvest Festival closes

Topics: [competitions] [events] [Harvest] [Harvest Festival]

We're on Landshare too

I've been adding some material to Hugh FW's Landshare site  - have a look here

Glasgow Harvest

A word of support for our pals at NVA who are holding 'Glasgow Harvest' on August 28th at the Hidden Gardens at Tramway in Glasgow, part of SAGE (Sow and Grow Everywhere) which are cunning portable growbags distributed throughout Glasgow and the Clyde Valley. Keen to dismiss the myth that chips are the only vegetable popular in the city, the event isn't at all po-faced- there is even a luscious sounding 'Jam Wall' planned!

More details here

or if you do Facebook, here

May the WWTHB? effect start here!

is a new website petitioning for more public space to be used to grow food - it looks worth signing up for certainly, hopefully they know about us too!


Topics: [Public Space]

Holidays and Harvest

The harvest this Saturday
The harvest this Saturday

Hamish is back from his holidays but there is practically a Euro-Exit from the core FOAG group all making their way to the continent for the summer holiday period. So, for those of us staying in the UK there is a LOT of produce to harvest ... if you're spending the summer in London you could do a lot worse than some light weeding at Abbey Gardens in return for lots of nice veg - come and join us for a gardening session: 

Saturdays 10am - 3pm
Tuesdays 1pm - 3pm
Thursdays 4pm - dusk


Hamish was excited to find this unexpected visitor in our raised beds ... it's a parasitic plant apparently, we think just the 'common' Broomrape but we're not 100% sure. Any experts out there chip in!

Topics: [broomrape ]

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