About FOGS

Friends of the Gardens (FOGs) is a group of volunteer gardeners at The University of Western Ontario, located in London, Ontario, Canada. Some volunteers are members of the University Staff and spend their lunch hours twice a week or more often if the time allows to help out with the weeding and the trimming, while others are from the community and have no connection with the University. Volunteers are always needed and are welcome.

FOGs members work and cooperate with the UWO Physical Plant, the Herbarium, and the Arboretum.

The group is dedicated to assisting in maintaining the beauty of the campus. This involves them in hands-on gardening such as weeding, pruning, dividing, planting, and mulching. The highlight of the year is the annual Plant Sale, held in May - proceeds from which go to assist science students to help them further their studies and to cover FOG's operating expenses.

Many people enjoy walking through the Rock Garden - a lovely sight during the growing season - or resting on a bench there to lunch, read or just relax. They don't hesitate to express appreciation of the garden, ask questions and make constructive suggestions. The collection of geologically significant rocks is utilized in Earth Sciences Department teaching, while some of the plants are used in the Plant Sciences curriculum.

As a group, FOGs activities are threefold:

To Work

FOGs members meet in the Biological and Geological Sciences Building Courtyard to garden in the spring, summer and autumn (weather permitting), on Monday and/or Thursday mornings or during the lunch hour from Monday to Friday. One garden that we work in is the St. Marys Cement Rock Garden - an area approximately 45 feet X 90 feet, lying between the Collip Building and the Biological & Geological Sciences Building, stretching down from Middlesex Drive to the lower greenhouses. We also work in the new Jancey Memorial Garden which is located on the upper tier of gardons on the south side of the Biotron Building. The old Jancey Memorial Garden had to be relocated in order to build the Biotron Building. Our third garden area that we tend is in the courtyard, inside the Biological and Geological Sciences Building. We have a show garden of annuals and perennials that are left over from our annual sale as well as holding beds for propagating perennials. During the winter months in previous years FOGs members helped to mount plant specimens in the Herbarium, assist with tree labelling throughout the Arboretum, and start plantings to sell in our Annual Spring Plant Sale.The proceeds from the sale go towards Annual Student Bursaries and FOGs operating expenses.

To Learn

In addition to learning by doing, periodic workshops on topics such as making troughs, pruning, taking cuttings, grafting, taking care of plants and plant identification are held. In past years field trips to rescue plants in areas under construction, visit gardens of members, friends or public gardens to obtain plants, or to be inspired were undertaken. Members of the group were encouraged if they so desired to show off their own gardens.

To Share

Occasionally there are get-togethers, combined with a business meeting. This gave us a chance to meet and mingle with other like-minded people and swap plants and stories.


Contact Information

If you have questions about FOGs, contact:

Sarah Lee
sarahlee@uwo.ca
519-661-2111 ext. 87435