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The Fruit Garden

Duration 7 weekly meetings
Tutor Michele Fitzsimmons
Course code SCI24A3624A
Fee £196
Concessionary fee £157 (find out about eligibility and funding options)

50-51 Park Place
CF10 3AT

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Learn how to design, create and maintain a low maintenance edible garden focussing on fruit trees, soft fruit and shade-tolerant leafy plants.

Based on permaculture principles, this Fruit Gardening course will take you through designing and drawing up plans for your garden and maintenance needs - including pruning, pest management and pollination.

The course is ideal for anyone interested in either growing their own food, especially fruit, or in managing a garden naturally - whatever the size.

Learning and teaching

There will be presentations, discussion groups, group exercises, practical demonstrations/activities and group design work.

The course will be illustrated with PowerPoint presentations.

The emphasis will be on active learning, to help you to develop an understanding of the subject matter and its relevance to the real world.

Topics to be covered include:

  • explanation of permaculture gardening
  • aspect, slope, microclimates - how they influence the design
  • the principles of edible forest gardening
  • unusual fruits
  • espalier and restricted growth fruit trees
  • specific aspects of growing fruit - rootstocks, pest control, water management, pruning, pollination, managing the harvest over long time period
  • practical activities (pruning) & a field trip (tutors garden at Edible Landscaping)
  • drawing to scale
  • design techniques - different ways of approaching designing
  • development of each student's design of their own fruit garden through small group discussions and individual tutorials.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved.

Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects.

The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

  • Whitefield, P. (1993) Permaculture in a Nutshell. Permanent Publications
  • Whitefield, P. (1997) How To Make A Forest Garden. Permanent Publications
  • Crawford, M. (2010) Creating a Forest Garden
  • Bell, G. (1994) Permaculture Garden Harper Collins
  • French, J.  (1992) The Wilderness Garden Aird Books. (Australia)
  • Fern, K. (1997) Plants for a Future. Permanent Publications.
  • Hessayon D.G. (1997) The Fruit Expert. Expert
  • Larkcom, J. (2003) The Organic Salad Garden. Frances Lincoln Ltd
  • McVicar, J. (1997) Good Enough To Eat. Kyle Cathie Ltd
  • Baines, C. (2000) How To Make A Wildlife Garden. Frances Lincoln Ltd
  • Crawford, M. (1998) Edible Plants For Temperate Climates. Agroforestry Research Trust.
  • Kourik, R. (1986) Designing and Maintaining Your Edible Landscape Naturally. Metamorphic P., U.S
  • The Collins Gem series for identifying: Wildflowers; Moths & Butterflies; Insects; Birds; Pond species
  • Brickell, C. (ed.) (2003) Royal Horticulture Society New Encyclopaedia of Plants and Flowers. Dorling Kindersley
  • Bown, D. (2003) The Royal Horticulture Society Encyclopaedia of Herbs and their Uses. Dorling Kindersley
  • Greenwood, P. and Halstead, A. (1997) The Royal Horticulture Society Pest and Diseases. Dorling Kindersley
  • Brickell, C. and Joyce, D. (1996) The Royal Horticultural Society Pruning and Training. Dorling Kindersley
  • The Royal Horticulture Society Encyclopaedia of Gardening
  • Flowerdew, B. (2003) Bob Flowerdew's Organic Bible: Successful Gardening the Natural Way. Kyle Cathie
  • Permaculture Magazine and Organic Gardening

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.