The sun shone, visitors came, many tomatoes were admired, cake was served and some great new patches were made for Lydia's mega-blanket. All round a success ... roll on year two we're ready!
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
* 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
You'd have thought that the Harvest Festival last weekend where we fed at least 100 if not 150 people from the garden would have left it slightly bare, but not a bit of it! My Dahlias have at last come into bloom and we still have an excess of produce.
This is the veg Tim and I took home just for the two of us on Saturday - although we stopped off at our allotment to share some with friends - including Poppy - here seen making short work of some fresh peas!
There are loads of nice pictures of the Harvest Festival event, including all the competition judging and Moro's lovely cooking. I've put a good selection up on Flickr here.
If you like to follow progress on the site you might also want to join our shared Abbey Gardens Flickr Group.
We're REALLY pleased and excited to announce that Sam & Sam Clark the owners and chefs at the fantastic Moro restaurant will be cooking live at our Harvest Festival event on September the 12th. We can't wait to see what they will do with all our fresh veg! They recently published a new book 'Moro East' with recipes inspired by the produce grown on their own East End allotment so I'm sure they won't be short on good ideas ... they even seemed excited by the mention of our challenging Kohl Rabi mountain.
On Saturday Chris tactfully took me aside to break the news that half my precious crop of artichokes grown from seed seem to have mysteriously died ... after some discussion of foxes/birds etc. we decided someone must have accidentally weeded them out realised their mistake and tried to pop them back.
Today this email from Dasha "..I am sorry I have a bad news for you...I accidentally pulled out some of the artichokes from the central bed thinking that they were weeds (they looked like thistles). In fact Louis pulled some too because I told him that they were weeds and then we realised that they were kind of symetrical. So we quickly put them back but the damage is done..."
I actually think they might make it back, they have been through so much so far waiting indefinitely in pots for Danny and co. to finish their bed. Sadly they're quite tricky to grow from seed but we could try some more next spring. However, I have since read that it's in fact better to start them off by splitting older ones so we may want to try and find an allotment person with another type we can split from.
Sadly (for everyone else) this can only increase my manic labelling obsession, maybe I need a label each for them!!
Join us for a fascinating workshop with Margot Cooper, an experienced floral lecturer and demonstrator from the National Association of Flower Arrangement Societies (NAFAS). Margot sits on the board of Flower Arranger Magazine and is now Treasurer of the NAFAS Woodford branch in East London.
She will help workshop participants select and pick flowers and foliage from the gardens, going on to guide you through making your own take-home arrangement.
This event on Saturday is free, no booking neccessary!
Meet at Abbey Gardens at 12.00 - workshop ends at 4.00.
Feel free to make a day of it and also join us for the morning Garden Club Session too.
Note Goldie the lone yellow courgette - three years I've been trying to grow these and finally Abbey Gardens brings me success. We were there so late harvesting tonight a fox joined us.
Really nice day at the garden today, a new volunteer who did LOADS of weeding (Thanks Julie!), I met Kathy Taylor from Newham Heritage Services who'd been involved in the archaeological dig, Tim and I planted out most of the remaining seedlings AND we took home an actual 'harvest' of produce ...
Seen here leaf beet "Bull's Blood" (grown by Andreas), courgettes, my Wiltshire Ripple sweet peas and some "Royal Family", radish I sowed (can't remember the name), some cornflower "blackball" (a personal fav.) dwarf french beans and some marigolds - not bad if I do say so myself!