Abby's Garden

The Abby Ayers Community Garden, known as Abby’s Garden, was founded in 2009 thanks to the efforts of students, faculty, staff, and community members. The garden has brought together students, faculty, and staff to grow all sorts of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers. In 2020, Abby’s Garden was renovated and expanded as part of the Eco-Corridor construction. The garden now includes 32 raised beds of three different sizes, a covered picnic pavilion, three new water hydrants, and a community tool shed.

Since its founding, Abby’s Garden has adhered to organic practices. To help support a healthy ecosystem and to reduce residue on produce, no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides are used. Sticking to organic practices helps protect the health of our gardeners and our surrounding environment. Beyond environmental health, digging in the dirt can also help reduce stress and improve mental wellbeing!

There are beds available to any member of the University of Richmond campus community. Basic tools for gardeners, including hand tools, gloves, rakes, and shovels, are all available for shared use and are stored in our newly constructed tool shed. A committee of faculty, staff, and students oversee the garden and facilitate the lottery process each spring.

If you have any questions about Abby's Garden and the lottery process, please email Cary Jamieson:

Apply for a Garden Plot

Abby's Garden, located in the Eco-Corridor, is re-opening this spring to our campus community! Students, faculty, and staff with any level of gardening experience are encouraged to apply for a plot in the garden from April until October of the 2024 growing season. Gardeners will be selected for plots through a lottery system, and plots will be assigned after registration closes. If you are a student organization or a group of individuals interested in maintaining a plot together, you are welcome to apply together. Gardeners are expected to attend garden orientation training, participate in garden clean up days, and maintain their plot for the entire growing season. 

Registration will run from February 21 through March 8. If you have any questions about the community garden or lottery process, please reach out to Cary Jamieson, the Natural Areas Steward, at Apply now

Students engaging with Abby's Garden
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  • Garden Guidelines

    - All gardeners must attend an orientation session and sign the garden pledge prior to gardening. More detailed expectations/guidelines will be given to gardeners during orientation.

    - Gardeners are expected to assist on garden clean-up days

    - Please close the front and back gates to help keep deer out of the garden

    - Return all tools to the tool shed after use (please wipe down tools and put dirty gloves into the correct bin)

    - Turn off water spigots and return hoses after watering

    - Only organic fertilizers may be used. Compost is available for shared use!

    - Flowers, vegetables, herbs, and other annuals can all be grown in your garden! Have fun with it and get to know your fellow gardeners!

  • Maintaining Your Plot

    - The garden has 2 plot sizes: 2x3 and 4x8

    - The garden receives about 8 hours of direct sunlight daily, sufficient for vegetable gardening.

    - Each plot has access to a water spigot with a hose and gardeners are responsible for watering their own plots.

    - Gardeners are expected to provide their own seeds and/or transplants and any tools/supplies beyond the shared tools in the shed.

    - Gardeners are expected to maintain their plots for the full growing season. This includes managing weeds by regularly weeding your plot. This helps prevent weeds from jumping from your garden plot to another gardener’s plot.

    - Helping with general upkeep is also expected (ie: clean-up days).

  • Accessing the Garden

    - The garden is located near the start of the Eco-Corridor.

    - The garden is limited to garden participants during the growing season.

    - Participants have access to the garden all days of the week during daylight hours.

  • Gardening Resources

    Ordering Seeds

    - Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (Virginia-based)

    - Seed Savers Exchange (Heirloom seeds)

    - Johnny’s Seeds

    Growing Guides

    - Southern Exposure Growing Guides (overviews + lots of resources)

    - Virginia Home Vegetable Gardening Guide (great overview!)

    If you are new to gardening, please let us know if you would like some introductory resources!

  • Abby’s Garden Committee Members

    - Marge Musial: Telecommunications Service Representative, Campus Telecommunications
    - Mike Torquato: Landscape Services Manager, University Facilities
    - Rob Andrejewski: Director of Sustainability, Office for Sustainability
    - Cary Jamieson: Natural Areas Steward, Office for Sustainability