Growing in a greenspace near you
Between March 2013 and June 2016 DUO planted 25 orchards in Dundee. An orchard comprises 5 fruit trees or more. The DUO orchards include a mixture of local heritage and new UK varieties. Each orchard is the responsibility of a designated orchard group. Together they form the Orchard City network: a community of active citizens sharing knowledge, skills and resources, and a public art trail for visitors to enjoy.
See below for a list of the orchard groups and sites. Included are the number and variety of fruit trees planted. Many of the orchard sites have grown in capacity – adding additional growing spaces and fruit trees. So the following information is simply an archive of our initial planting. At the time of writing (March 2017) all 25 orchards are in good health (although the St John’s orchard is currently potted up and waiting to be replanted for reasons explained below).
To find out more and taste the fruit we recommend a site visit!
Action for Children
Planted on 15.05.14. This orchard comprises 3 apple trees: Red Devil, Yorkshire Aromatic and Worcester Pearmain.
Note: Due to a shortage of space only 3 apples trees were planted at the Action for Children site – with an additional 2 apple trees planted at the Arthurstone Community Library orchard. (See below.) DUO also worked with Action for Children to create a series of paintings exploring orchard biodiversity. The artworks are installed in the garden.
Arthurstone Community Library
Planted on 13.12.13. This orchard comprises 1 pear, 1 plum and 5 apple trees: Conference Pear, Victoria Plum, Belle de Boskoop, Discovery, Leathercoat Russet, Flamenco, and Waltz.
Note: This orchard is twinned with the Action for Children orchard. (See above.) The latter 2 apple trees were planted by the Arthurstone Community Library to supplement the 3 trees planted at Action for Children. These trees are commonly known as ‘ballerinas’ due to their upright, columnar growth. Also of note, the Arthurstone Community Library is adorned with its own set of Orchard City prints.
Planted on 28.10.14. This orchard comprises 7 apple trees: Isaac Newton, Hunt House, Red Devil, Hawthornden, Tower of Glamis, Bloody Ploughman, and Santana.
Note: This orchard is hosted and animated by Dundee Contemporary Arts and Dundee Science Centre to draw attention to the twin passions of art and science, specifically as they engage with ecological themes. The installation was co-designed by DUO in conversation with the host organisations and through two co-design workshops. The installation was constructed by Fifex. The orchard and companion planting is maintained by Bonnie Dundee.
Ballumbie Primary School
Planted on 28.05.14. This orchard comprises 1 plum tree and 4 apple trees: Cambridge Gage (plum), Elton Beauty, Mank’s Codling, Monarch, and Red Devil.
Note: In addition to the planting and art workshops undertaken at the school, an Orchard City print exhibition and printmaking workshop also took place at The Crescent (a community centre opposite the school).
Blackness Primary School
Planted on 25.06.13. This orchard comprises 2 apple trees planted by DUO plus 3 apple trees already on site. The DUO trees are: Cox and Jupiter.
Note: This orchard is twinned with University of Dundee Botanic Garden where the children planted 7 of the Botanic Garden’s 12 fruit trees. (See below.) The school garden has now been expanded to encompass a small plot of land adjacent to the school.
Planted on 18.06.13. This orchard comprises 5 apple trees planted by DUO plus 2 apple trees already on site. The DUO trees are: Belle de Boskoop, Bramley, Coul Blush, Sunset, and White Melrose.
Note: This was the first DUO orchard to be planted. It was important for DUO to work from the periphery and into the centre of the city. It was also important for our first planting to take place in a school. The intention was to foreground our sense (partly inspired by Patrick Geddes) that the periphery of the city – including the porous boundary between the city and the wider region – is key to reimagining Dundee as an Orchard City (and region – hence our ongoing engagement in the Carse of Gowrie). We also felt that the city’s redevelopment plans needed to take better account of the long-term needs of these children when thinking through their commitment to social, environmental and economic sustainability. With that in mind, the children who planted this orchard were subsequently featured in DUO’s ‘shadow planter’ images and have appeared in a number of exhibitions in Dundee and further afield.
Camperdown Wildlife Centre
Planted on 14.02.14. This orchard comprises 10 cordon and 4 free-standing apple trees. Cordon: Arbroath Oslin, Bloody Ploughman, Clydeside, Galloway Pippin, Hawthornden, Howgate Wonder, Liddels Seedling, Lord Rosebery, Stirling Castle, and Stobo Castle. Free-standing: Beauty of Moray, Cambusnethan Pippin, East Lothian Pippin, and Scotch Bridget.
Note: Since planting the orchard this corner of Camperdown Wildlife Centre has become an outdoor classroom. It now contains a greenhouse – gifted by Dundee Contemporary Arts (from a previous exhibition) – and plenty of interpretation about wildlife, biodiversity and the orchard itself.
Craigiebarns Primary School
Planted on 16.05.14. This orchard comprises 1 plum and 4 apple trees: Mirabelle (plum), Galloway Pippin, Keswick Codlin, Monarch, and Thorle Pippin.
Note: work to clear and subsequently expand this orchard site for additional growing space was carried out by individuals in Unpaid Work, Criminal Justice Service. We want to acknowledge their contribution to this and many other social and environmental projects in Dundee.
Dudhope Community Centre (Bharatiya Ashram)
Planted on 19.04.14. This orchard comprises 1 plum and 5 apple trees: Victoria Plum, Bloody Ploughman, Cambusnethan Pippin, Golden Noble, Lord Rosebery, and Yorkshire Aromatic.
Note: This orchard was planted in collaboration with Fife Diet as part of a more expansive co-design process initiated by DUO to create a kitchen garden in a corner of the existing carpark. The food grown on site is cooked and served in the centre. We can recommend a visit for Chi Kung on Tuesdays followed by the Chinese lunch club and the Indian lunch club on Saturdays. See here for details.
Dundee & Angus College – Gardyne Campus
Planted on 29.02.15. This orchard (now) comprises 5 apple trees: Beauty of Moray, Coul Blush, Lord Rosebery, and 2 (currently unidentified) additional apple trees.
Note: This is our only orchard to have sustained damage due to vandalism. 4 of the 7 trees we planted were damaged beyond repair over the course of 2 years. 2 more apple trees were planted (March 2017) to reinstate the site as a legitimate – 5 tree – orchard. (These apple trees had lost their labels so until they fruit we won’t know what they are!) In light of further vandalism planting will not take place. Although we hope that all of the DUO orchards flourish some casualties are to be expected. For an urban orchard project our success rate in avoiding vandalism has surprised many sceptics.
Dundee Foodbank and The Giving Garden
Planted on 29.03.14. This orchard comprises 8 cordon apple trees: Arbroath Oslin, Cambusnethan Pippin, Clydeside, East Lothian Pippin, George Cave, Thomas Jeffrey, and 2 Stobo Castle.
Note: The Giving Garden is sited in the grounds of Menzieshill Parish Church and the fruit and food grown on site is gifted to Dundee Foodbank – specifically the church’s foodbank which is open from 1 – 4pm on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (See here for details.) If foodbanks are a symptom of food poverty, community gardens and the DUO network are one step towards a more complex solution.
Planted on 08.07.14. This orchard comprises 5 apple trees planted by DUO plus 2 apple trees already on site. The DUO trees are: Goud Knap (pear), Old Warden (pear), East Lothian Pippin, Irish Peach, and Port Allen Russet.
Note: This orchard is part of a larger community garden maintained by The Reconnection Project. The site was planted by members of Dundee Voluntary Action’s Service User Network and is maintained by the group with assistance from The Reconnection Project.
Gowrie Care Therapeutic Garden
Planted on 19.07.13. This orchard comprises 5 cordon apple trees: Keswick Codlin, King of the Pippins, Red Devil, Reverend Wilks, and Stirling Castle.
Note: This orchard is sited in Duntrune Demonstration Garden. It was planted as part of their annual Gala day, an enjoyable event in Dundee’s horticultural calendar. Beyond our need for food this garden also amplifies the therapeutic benefits of having direct involvement in growing our own food and reconnecting with the natural environment.
Forthill Primary School
Planted on 19.02.14. This orchard comprises 2 pear, 1 plum and 4 apple trees: Louise Bonne of Jersey (pear), Maggie (pear), Avalon (plum), George Cave, Grenadier, Howgate Wonder, and Thomas Jeffrey.
Note: This is a great site with ample grounds for planting. If every school had sufficient space to plant an orchard or develop a garden, there’d be less disconnect between children, the food they eat, and their knowledge of the natural world. Sadly the new schools being built in Dundee have not yet made this a priority.
Lochee Community Garden
Planted on 16.05.15. This orchard comprises 6 cordon apple trees planted by DUO plus 1 apple tree already on site. The DUO trees are: Bardsey Island, Katy, Laxton’s Fortune, Tower of Glamis, and White Melrose.
Note: This orchard was planted by the Lochee Community Gardeners. In addition to the community garden they also care for a community allotment. The group started as a Dundee Healthy Living Initiative (DHLI) to improve health, well being & gardening skills. DUO also worked with DHLI to create mosaic signage for the site.
Main Street Backgreen
Planted on 30.03.14. This orchard comprises 1 pear, 1 plum, 1 crab apple, and 4 apple trees: Jargonelle (pear), Gordon Castle (plum), Jelly King (crab apple), Green Pear of Yair, Hawthornden, Lord Rosebery, and Siddington Russet.
Note: Before planting any orchards in Dundee DUO made a tacit agreement with Dundee City Council’s Environment Department (now Neighbourhood Services) only to plant orchards with existing community groups or cultural organisations. But every ‘rule’ has an ‘exception’ and this is ours. Having met S.G. at numerous DUO events, we received an email to ask whether we’d consider planting in a tenement backgreen. Having visited the site we decided to risk it and the outcome is one of the most poetic and restorative orchard spaces we’ve had the pleasure of planting.
MAXwell Centre and Community Garden
Planted on 22.06.13 (apple) and 17.12.13 (damson, pear, and plum). This orchard comprises 1 damson, 3 pear, 1 plum, and 14 cordon apple trees: Merryweather (damson), Buerre Hardy (pear) x 2, Williams (pear), Victoria (plum), Cambusnethan Pippin, Catillac, Galloway Pippin, Golden Noble, Hood’s Supreme, Lidell’s Seedling, Louise Bonne of Jersey, Seaton House, Scotch Bridget, Starks Late Delicious x 3, Stirling Castle, and Yorkshire Aromatic.
Note: This orchard was envisaged when the site was derelict. What others saw as an eye sore, the Centre manager saw as a walled garden. He was right! Working with the original garden team, the orchard was the first thing to be planted on site. Since then Maxwell Centre’s community garden has grown into one of the most inspiring community gardens in Dundee. (They also added lots of additional apple trees and soft fruit.)
Ninewells Community Garden
Planted on 17.08.14. This orchard comprises 5 apple trees: Bloody Ploughman, East Lothian Pippin, Galloway Pippin, Scotch Bridget, and Siddington Russet.
Note: This orchard was planted as part of the Open Gardens Festival 2014. DUO also worked with Ninewells Community Garden to develop new mosaic signage for the site. Ninewells Community Garden is situated in close proximity to the Maggie Centre Labyrinth. Walking through the garden is like walking the labyrinth: a deeply healing experience.
One Parent Families Scotland
Planted on 26.03.14. This orchard comprises 5 cordon apple trees: Clydeside, Discovery, George Cave, Howgate Wonder, and Thomas Jeffrey.
Note: Like a number of potential orchard sites, the One Parent Families Scotland site was a paved area when we first paid a visit. Following hard work by 3 of the parents (and ‘assistance’ from the children), paving slabs were removed and, with DUO’s assistance, planting areas were designed and constructed to maximise heat captured by the south facing brick walls. Following the construction of the planters and the orchard planting the group went on the develop and plant other areas of the garden.
Roseangle Commons and Dundee West Church
Planted on 31.08.14. This orchard comprises 5 cordon apple trees: Ellisons Orange, East Lothian Pippin, Lass O’Gowrie, Seaton House, and Stobo Castle.
Note: This orchard is sited in Roseangle Commons and Dundee West Church’s Kitchen Garden. The Kitchen Garden was replanted in 2015 as a forest garden with edible planting (including a crab apple) to be used by Roseangle Cafe.
Planted on 27 & 28.06.16. This orchard comprises 1 crab apple and 5 apple trees: Golden Hornet (crab), Coul Blush, James Grieve, Lass O’Gowrie, Port Allen Russet, and Stirling Castle.
Note: This was our final orchard planting (for the first phase of the project). One of 9 small gardens in the Slessor Garden plot, this is an Edible Garden that includes local soft fruit bushes and herbs. The produce is available for anyone to pick. If you’d like to join DUO in caring for the garden we’d love to hear from you.
St Clements RC and Camperdown Primary School
Planted on 07.05.15 and replanted on 14.02.17. This orchard comprises 2 pear trees and 3 apple trees: Maggie (pear), Beurre Hardy (pear), Bloody Ploughman, Gravenstein, Mank’s Codling.
Note: While the staff and pupil’s have been enthusiastic about the orchard, this site – chosen when the campus was still being constructed – has been problematic from the start. Having observed the orchard since its original planting and worried about the health of the trees, we decided to dig them up in December 2016, take care of them for a couple of months, add richer soil to the site, and address the lack of protection for the trees (from a neighbouring football pitch). To this end we worked with Dundee City Council’s Community Allotment Officer and her colleagues who added both soil and additional raised beds (doubling as a fence) to the site.
St John’s RC High School
Planted on 13.03.14. This orchard comprised 2 plums and 5 apple trees: Opal (plum), Trailblazer (plum), Beauty of Moray, Bloody Ploughman, Galloway Pippin, Hoods Supreme, and Liddels Seedling.
Note: This orchard was originally planted in St John’s outdoor learning space. We planted 3 cordon apple trees in the morning and 3 cordon apple trees and a free standing plum in the afternoon. 2 years later, in the summer holidays, a prefab classroom was constructed on the outdoor learning space. It was a surprise to us all! Luckily all but one of the cordon apple trees survived, as did the plum tree. We removed them in December 2016 and we’ll replant them in a redesignated garden area later this year.
Planted on 08.07.14. This orchard comprises 2 pear and 3 apple trees: East Lothian Pippin (pear), Old Warden (pear), East Lothian Pippin, Irish Peach, and Port Allen Russet.
Note: This orchard is part of a larger community garden maintained by The Reconnection Project. The orchard was planted and is maintained by Dundee Voluntary Action’s Service User Network in collaboration with The Reconnection Project.
University of Dundee Botanic Garden
Planted on 24.06.13. This orchard comprises 1 pear, 1 plum, 3 cherry, and 7 apple trees: Conference (pear), Victoria (plum) x 2, Morel (cherry), Stella (cherry), Bloody Ploughman, Cox, Discovery, James Grieve, Lady Henniker, Sieversii, and Summer Thorle.
Note: This orchard was planted by members of the University of Dundee Student Allotment Group and Blackness Primary School pupils. An additional plum tree was planted at our first Community Harvest on 22.10.16. The University of Dundee Botanic Gardens hosts DUO’s annual Community Harvest. (See here.)
Planted 27.05.14. This orchard comprises 1 pear, 1 crab apple and 5 apple trees: Winter Christie (pear), Golden Hornet (crab apple), Grenadier, Howgate Wonder, Seaton House, Tydeman’s Late Orange, and Worcester Pearmain.
Note: This orchard was originally planted by the Unpaid Work, Criminal Justice Service when they tended the walled garden and grew vegetables and fruit intended for Dundee Foodbank. (Hence the ‘anonymous’ photograph.) Since 2016 the garden has been managed by St Joseph’s Wellburn Care Home staff who have taken to the garden with a flourish!
Together we water the Orchard City!