Abbey Gardens viewed from the Webcam

Finally blue flowers

It's been a long wait but the Meconopsis have finally flowered!

Topics: [Flowers]

First Flowers

First bunch of flowers for me this season
First bunch of flowers for me this season

Food wise I have to admit we're in a bit of a 'hungry gap' in the garden at the moment - unless like me you are still utterly determined to continue to innovate with chard and parsley (!) but the new season is just around the corner ... seed trays are multiplying and today I picked my first bunch of flowers.

The Aquilegia I grew from seeds gathered from my late Father-in-law Derek Olden's allotment. I always really love the associations plants can have with particular people and these are no exception. It even made me happy to be updating the plant database tonight because I realised that this is what I love about it ... as well as all the 'facts' we record here it's also a record of everyone who contributes to the garden over time, and the plants they grow can continue even when they are no longer with us.

OMG the Dahlias are back

I got VERY excited in the garden today the dahlia's I grew from seed last year and left in over winter to see if they would form tubers have and have come up again!

Topics: [Dahlias]

Hamish joins the database team

We're delighted to spread the job of adding to the plant database by welcoming Hamish into the admin group!

Topics: [Hamish]

Potato planting day 3rd April 2010

Spring is definitely here and with it comes many things to do down at Abbey Gardens, but one thing that can't wait much longer is planting potatoes. So, if you're a fan of spuds and the warmer weather has you wanting to get outside, come down and get involved. Onions, garlic and shallots also need to go in so any help will be welcome. Hopefully see you on Saturday between 10am - 3pm

Hamish, your new Garden Club Leader


The gap for the illusive
The gap for the illusive

AT LAST ... I have waded through the plant database bed by bed checking that everything from last year has at the least a photo, an 'in' date and an 'out' date. This may not sound like a big deal but believe me with erratic records it was a massive task!

So why should you care?

Well this means we are now ready for Karen to do the next level of 'grooming' to add the 'top level' info for these plants (Latin Names, if you can eat them etc.) which will (we hope) eventually let us build up a page of our stock plants with links to recipes etc. This also means Dorian can now make the transition to this season's database with only perennial plants (or those we have still to remove) carrying over and with our first season archived.

This also means we have to label everything this year and add it as we go along :-( !
If you are still not sure why read Karen's excellent post from a while back here.

If anyone would like to review their high spots from last year and leave comments for posterity on your favourite flowers and veg. it's not too late and it helps to build a nice picture of the garden ...

So click and comment away ... (but maybe save your recipes for this years exciting new area!)

My only remaining sadness is it seems I have no photographic record of Turnip "Golden Ball" any offers out there? And before anyone points it out I know I have to take photos of the Green Manure ...

Topics: [Abbey Gardens] [archive] [database] [history] [labelling] [records]

International Village Shop Workshop

Initial design for our fantastic new Honesty Stall by Andreas Lang
Initial design for our fantastic new Honesty Stall by Andreas Lang


The idea for the workshop is to brainstorm and develop new objects/items/goods that derive from the context of Abbey Gardens a collective urban food growing site. The brief is open and will be developed collectively and in reference to specific aspects of the site, such as collective gardening and harvesting, urban food production, social and historical aspects of the site, etc.
The aim for the two day workshop is to develop a brief for one or more new products, and if possible, to assemble first prototypes. The new items can be anything: from food or tools to plants or processes and of a real or digital nature.

The products may later be used at Abbey Gardens and distributed locally through the Abbey Gardens' new honesty box and mobile stall (see the picture!). The honesty box, conceived as part of What Will The Harvest Be? is part of a wider network of cultural trading activities and platforms called the International Village Shop, where the new products for Abbey Gardens can become part of a growing collection of locally informed and produced goods.

Programme: Fri 26th March

10.00 Meeting at Abbey Gardens
Introduction of all participants and their different interests in being involved.
Mapping session of local resources/narratives/skills/appreciations/conflicts within Abbey Gardens and its proximity which could inform the new products.

13.00 Lunch at Abbey Gardens

14.00 - 17.00 Further mapping and group session brainstorming and sketching first ideas for a new products.

19.00 Friday Session_39 - an informal discussion at public works studio, 1-5 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG


With presentations by Nina Pope from Somewhere on What Will the Harvest Be?
Celine Condorelli talking about commons and things in common
Cristina Cerutti about the Crokkes-Walkley Transition group in Sheffield
Nolwenn Marchand from aaa on Le 56 ECOintersice in Paris

Followed by discussion and food and drinks.

Sat 27th March

10.00 Production workshop at Abbey Gardens, aiming towards a brief and first prototypes for new products.
12.30 Informal lunch and internal presentation of workshop results.
13.30 Further sketching/prototyping/building
15.00 Tea and cakes followed by presenting results to the public
15.30 Discussion about the different values involved in making and trading the new product within the context of the Abbey Gardens Honesty Box and the International Village Shop
16.30 Finish

Who Will Take Part?

The workshop is organised collaboratively by the Friends of Abbey Gardens, Somewhere and public works it takes place within the context of an EU cultural project called RHYZOM.

Members of Abbey Gardens are invited to join. To reserve a place for the workshop email mail 'at' - or Contact Andreas. Please note that places are limited and reservation is needed.


Honesty Stall Development

Andreas made us a trug 'mood board'.
Andreas made us a trug 'mood board'.

Andreas Lang of both FOAG and Public Works is doing a wonderful job pushing forward with the new Honesty Stall for Abbey Gardens (see above) - he's managed all the different problems we have with getting the right thing by splitting the design between a stall in the fence, a mobile structure and our own bespoke trugs. I couldn't stop myself posting this trug 'mood board' he put together I love it so much!

Topics: [honesty stall] [produce] [trug]

Government follows Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

You may be interested to read that HFW's TV 'Landshare' scheme has apparently inspired our head honchos to follow suit,

"The Government has announced plans to help people grow their own food by working with the Federation of City Farms & Community Gardens (FCFCG) on creating a Community Land Bank (HW, 12 March). A small advisory group will meet on 19 April to discuss the plans, which include an agency to bring together landowners and lessees.The Development Trusts Association (DTA), FCFCG and Transition UK will meet, with advice from academic Dr Richard Wiltshire."

Let's hope to hear more, it would be great if they could also consider historic sites like Abbey Gardens as potential food-growing sites, as there are so many in our cities.

We have certainly had a handful of interested WWTHB? gardeners via my post on Landshare, but up North in Cumbria where I live I have had no takers at all for my posting - odd, as anecdotally I meet many interested but in-need-of-help people up here, it seems to be that they either don't know of landshare or don't want to use it......

More to be read here

Hello Hamish

Hamish our new Garden Club Leader for 2010
Hamish our new Garden Club Leader for 2010

A massively warm welcome to our newly appointed Garden Club Leader Hamish Liddle - it's great to have you onboard. The post was hotly contested and we're really delighted to have such an experienced person to guide us through our second season.

Hamish will be starting THIS WEEK! as we resume the weekly garden club sessions:

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

Why not come along and see the garden at the start of the season and say hello? Hamish will also be at the wildflower event on site this coming Saturday the 20th of March.

Topics: [Abbey Gardens] [FOAG] [Hamish]

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