Welcome to

Abbey Physic Community Garden


Helping our members and the wider public maintain or improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing, build diverse skills and confidence, reduce social isolation and connect with their community. Through our commitment to equality and diversity and provision of inclusive services and support we aim to break down the stigma of mental ill health and build understanding and empathy.

Garden News

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A Garden For Everyone

Celebrating 30 years in the community – Nominated for the Kings Award for volunteering services 2024

We hope there is something for everyone here, whether you would like to do some gardening, meet and spend time with people, join in with a group or activity, or just find a quiet corner to relax in nature.

Come and help us by volunteering. Book a taster session to see if this is for you. We have availability in our:

  • Community kitchen – 2.5hrs 10am – 12.30pm or 12.30pm – 2.30pm
  • Community Coffee Cabin – 10am-12.30pm  or 12pm -2.30pm
  • Men`s Shed – Wednesday or Fridays 10am -1.30pm (must be competent with tools.)
  • Garden Maintenance person – repairing, mending, painting.
  • Gardeners of all abilities – Monday to Friday – hours to suit.

It`s a great way to make friends, good fun and helps our project to keep going.

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch at 01795 539915 or at communitygarden@abbeyphysic.org.We look forward to hearing from you.

Anyone can become a member – contact us at millie.abbeyphysic@gmail.com, call 01795 539915, visit our membership page, or come along to the garden any time during members’ opening hours to find out more.

In Memorium

Gulliver Immink

29th August 1950 to 18th April 2024

Gulliver was born in Bromley, Kent to Carl Gustav and Florentine Immink (both Dutch). He was raised in Seal, Sevenoaks and schooled at The New Beacon, Sevenoaks and Bryanston School, Dorset.
He graduated in economics from Reading University.

In 1974 he married Wenche Johnsen in Norway in 1974. They had three children, Alex, Ed and Majen and three grandchildren, Mathilde, Amalia and Freya.

Gulliver lived all his adult life in East Kent and worked for Esso Petroleum, Equitable Life and a small IT company.

Faversham Faces: Bob Geldof, Gulliver Immink and Arthur Percival exhibited during
Open Faversham, 2023

Piece by Abbey Physic Community Garden

I first heard of Gulliver when he was battling against a development proposal for a solar farm on the land opposite his home on Porters Lane in 2013. I met him soon after he moved to Faversham in August 2014 to live opposite me on Church Road in Flint House. His apartment included the geography classroom, from which he could look down on me from his living room; I could look down on him from my rooftop balcony. We had many laughs together about this.

As I got to know Gulliver, our friendship grew closer. We would share a glass or two and “put the world to rights” in his place or mine. As a Gambian friend said to me at my 60th, there would still be a thing or two wrong with this world when I passed. So it is with Gulliver’s passing, too. Gulliver was at ease with a diversity of people and had the energy and commitment to maintain old friendships and make new ones.

Liz Jeffery organised the triptych describing Gulliver as “one of Faversham’s unsung heroes” and a “Faversham resident who truly gives back to our town.”

An active member of the Creek Trust, he argued for a lifting bridge as an alternative to a swing bridge. He and I discussed this often, and he convinced me that it was a better option. He took over from me as chair of the Faversham Sea Cadets and battled on with the TS Hazard, tiles dropping in and punishingly cold in winter. Moving to the Umbrella Centre, he tried everything to keep the group alive. He took Ottor, a half-scale replica of the Graveney Boat to local primary schools and the transport weekend. Gulliver actively campaigned for “20’s Plenty” and improved air quality at Ospringe. An active member of the Environment Committee of the Faversham Society, he was always willing to hand out leaflets and engage people in the marketplace.

Gulliver was an active member of the Community Land Trust, and we shall endeavour to deliver the community hall he envisaged for the Sea Cadets and Creekside Boxing.

With an inquiring mind and a genuine interest in people, he was a gifted conversationalist. He will be missed by many.

Harold Goodwin, friend

Chair of the Sea Cadets 2018-2024

“I only knew Gulliver for a short time, I loved the passion he had for the Faversham unit and its history and trying his absolute best to keep it all going as he truly believed that youngsters could benefit from being in such an organisation. He was a lovely gentleman who will be sadly missed.”

Like Harold, Gulliver was a member of the Faversham Society and had links with the maritime heritage sector. His passion for Faversham’s heritage drove him to seek a sustainable future for the Sea Cadets in a new location. Initially, utilising the Faversham Umbrella Centre, there was an attempt to maintain parading despite very few staff and a small committee.

The untimely death of the unit Treasurer impacted the unit’s ability to function, and Gulliver effectively propped up the unit single-handedly. His plan was to establish a consortium of local interested stakeholders to create a new community hub that would accommodate both the Sea Cadet unit and Creekside Boxing. A local businessman identified land and was to gift it to the community, and the building was to be developed by the Faversham Community Land Trust. Unfortunately, a combination of the pandemic and bouts of ill health have so far prevented Gulliver’s vision from becoming a reality.

Leisse Gambell, Sea Cadets, Sheerness

My experiences of time spent in Gulliver’s presence at the Physic Garden
were occasions of great delight and appreciation. He approached all that
he did for us, both as a Trustee and a willing hands-on helper, from a
serious sense of purpose but expressed it with cheeful energy and
enthusiasm. No solemnity or self importance. I recall a recent Christmas 

Day when the garden was open for a few hours for people to
drop in. Gulliver had opened up and was on duty. We had a pack of
‘famous people’ masks and after debating for a while between Henry V111,
Elvis or Cleopatra, Gulliver opted for Edna Everage with hilarious
results. The transformation was considered somewhat spectacular by the
assembled company and after a few bursts of the famous Gullliver gaffaws
he gleefully asked for a photo to circulate round his family.  He was
also a man of great knowledge which he carried lightly, always
interested to converse about anything at all.  Our paths crossed away
from the garden some times too as we had friends in common, and he did many
small kindnesses for me. Always willling to offer lifts. Or I would get
a phone call – ‘Dot, there’s a spare ticket going for a concert. I’m
taking a car full, want to come?’  Those little things that make our lives sweeter.

Along with the other organisations to which hegave so much time and care

the Physic Garden will always have that gap where Gulliver was and it will be

a special and particularly difficult one to fill.

Dot Percival, friend

Keep up with all of the latest news from the garden, find out about activities, groups, and upcoming events by clicking the buttons and following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter:

If you have any questions or comments, please get in touch at 01795 539915 or at communitygarden@abbeyphysic.org.

Very best wishes,

The Abbey Physic Community Garden Team

Courses at the Abbey Physic Community Garden

We now run a series of 6 week courses at the garden that are free to our members. If you are interested in attending please email us community.garden@abbeyphysic.org

Growing a Healthy Community

What we offer

The APCG offers a healing space for all, regardless of age, culture or ability.

  • We help breakdown social isolation through informal networking by providing a space to meet casually, to relax and de-stress.
  • Participation can support members improve their ability to manage thoughts, emotions and build social relationships.
  • Improve confidence to support members natural ability to learn and acquire skills, ultimately enabling full participation in their community.
  • We focus on the Garden’s ability to affect good mental and physical health.

Who we are for

We actively support people isolated by their mental or physical health, or social and economic disadvantage, and we give them a community to feel a part of.

For many people it is a delightful destination during a pleasant day out. For others who take a different path to the Physic Garden, it is a far more meaningful place.

You will find a peaceful refuge from a life outside which may be chaotic or troubled.

The benefits that people gain include social connections, self-confidence, physical and emotional well-being, and not least the simple knowledge that people care for them.

We work in partnership with many local groups and organisations.

Why we are needed

We know the statistic of 1 in 4 experiencing mental health issues, and we know rates of self-harm in the UK are the highest in Europe.

We also know that people with mental health issues are amongst the least likely of any group with long-term mental health issues to:

  • Find work
  • Be in a long-term relationship
  • Live in decent housing
  • Be socially included in mainstream society

Research from Time to Change shows the best way to challenge discrimination and stereotypes is through first-hand contact with people with experience of mental health issues.

That is why we are open to everyone, the wider community, schools and groups, over 5,000 visitors a year.


Better for our members

Improved mental health, less social isolation, new friends and more consumption of healthy food are just some of the benefits that people enjoy from taking part in the garden and its activities.

Better for the environment

As well as gardening organically we garden sustainably, following the principles of Permaculture and act as a Land Learning Centre in conjunction with the Permaculture Association.

Better for the community

In 2019 over 6,000 people visited the garden.

As well as local people we welcomed visitors from countries in Europe, Australia, and even a South Korean film crew who spent a day documenting what we do to take the gardening for health message back home.

Come and see us!

It’s a nice place to be