Gardens and orchards

Using a permaculture approach to design and grow a garden or orchard can realise a functioning ecological system, composed of many parts, each contributing to the overall stablility, health and resilience of the whole. This results in a community of plants and fauna in dynamic equilibrium.

Growing food is a great way to interact with the earth and share the return with others. There are many techniques for gardening, but permaculture is clear about using organic approaches and increasing biological diversity. By building soil diversity and fertility naturally, the results are increased natural stability, improved productivity and resilience. By taking this approach any dependency on synthetic, and often toxic regulators or additives is removed.

The role of fruit and nut trees in offering early bee fodder is an important reason for their inclusion in wildlife corridors and green infrastructure for they are multiple providers of ecosystem services valuable to us all.

Fruit and nut trees have become popular again for garden and landscape designers, not only for their beautiful blossoms and pollen, but also for the delicious local food they provide. Renewed concern for the environment, combined with the effects of economic recession have also resulted in people, groups and communities growing food in wildlife friendly ways. The rise of community gardening has seen many orchards being planted in public spaces, including in vacant plots, parks, on allotment sites and in school grounds.

In this category...

Bio-intensive gardening

Bio-intensive gardening uses no-dig raised beds, organic and biodynamic growing techniques and successional cropping to produce the maximum crop yield from the smallest space.

Dense green undergrowth in a forest garden

Forest gardens

Forest gardens are food-producing and seek to emulate natural woodland ecosystems as closely as possible.

Hugel mounds

Derived from the German word 'hügelkultur', the literal translation for a hügel mound is "hill culture".

Organic gardening

Organic gardening is the growing of food without the use of refined chemical fertilisers or pesticides.

Corn, beans and squash growing together


Polycultures are two or more useful plants grown on the same plot, usually at the same time. From an ecological perspective, they try to mimic natural cycles.

Raised beds

In small scale horticulture, a highly effective technique is the creation of permanent growing beds separated by access paths. Raised garden beds are great for growing small plots of vegetables and flowers.

Seed saving

Farmers need to have many skills to manage both the soil and the homestead. Out of those skills, seed saving is probably one of the most important. By giving more attention to seed saving, farmers can improve the quality of their seed each year.

Garden design

Redesigning a garden enables change from an unsustainable existing system to a more sustainable one.


Perennial crops

Perennials flower and fruit more than once and are often productive over many years, requiring less cultivation after initial planting than annuals.

Related resources...

Permaculture in Small Spaces ebook
Permaculture In Small Spaces
The Business Of Edible Landscaping -
ARTICLE : Perennial Vegetables: Grow More Food With Less Work -
ARTICLE : 8 Simple But Sure Steps To Miracle Farms:How You Make a Living From a 4 Acre Permaculture Orchard (photo & video) -
ARTICLE : Diversified Organic Market Gardening and Aboriculture -
Soilscapes by Landis - Soil Map for England & Wales
ARTICLE : How to Make Compost Tea - by Ali Lawrence
Dave Goulson - The best garden flowers for bees
ARTICLE : ARCAH’ s Therapeutic Permacultural Yard (Community PC Farm Project)
Federation of Community Farms and Community Gardens (FCFCG) Community Garden Articles
Wikipedia Entry : European hardiness zones (USDA Zoning)
Plants: Nitrogen Fixers for Temperate Climates
ARTICLE : Annual Polycultures – an easy way to ‘permaculture’ your plot
Biodynamic Calendar
Article : Quality over Quantity – Growing Nutrient Dense Food in Urban Gardens
Permaculture Association LAND Visitor Centres
Learn Permaculture
ARTICLE: Ecosystem services of allotment and community gardens: a Leipzig, Germany case study
REPORT : Case Study Permacultural Organic Market Gardening and Economic Performance - Ferme du Bec Hallouin, Normandy France
JOURNAL ARTICLE : Gardening promotes neuroendocrine and affective restoration from stress
The Vegetable & Herb Expert: The world's best-selling book on vegetables & herbs
Manual for Creating a Community Food Forest on Public Land
Permaculture Design : A Step-by-Step Guide
Seeds - the ultimate guide to growing successfully from seed
How to Get Rid of Garden Pests and Diseases - An illustrated identifier and practical problem solver
How to Store Your Garden Produce - The key to self sufficiency (Revised and enlarged edition)
Bird-Friendly GARDEN - A practical month-by-month guide to attracting birds to your garden
The Earth Care Manual – Revised & Updated : A Permaculture Handbook for Britain and other Temperate Climates
The Basics of Permaculture Design
Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
Earth User's Guide to Permaculture, 2nd Edition
The Permaculture Garden
Permaculture, homesteading, and compost-powered heating in the Vermont hills
IPCUK 2015 “Plants”, International Permaculture Conference
My Permaculture Garden - Morag Gamble
Back To Eden Organic Gardening Film | How to Grow a Vegetable Garden
Restoring old apple trees
Indoor Forest Gardens Using Low Energy Climate Battery Technology
Living With The Land | Part 5 | No-Dig Gardening
Living With The Land | Part 7 | Off-grid Living
Living With The Land | Part 1 | Forest Gardening
Solving All the World's Problems - in a Garden
Urban Permaculture : 6,000 lbs of food on 1/10th acre
Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA
Experiments in small space gardening in Mexico City
Global Gardener with Bill Mollison
Symphony of the Soil
Karuna LAND Project Centre
Brighton Permaculture Trust
Social Farms and Gardens (Previously FCFCG)