New Plot - The Proposed Design
I’ve finally settled in a design & layout I’m happy with for the new plot. Yes, it’s a bit more ‘showy’ than allotment plots usually are - but given the amount of time I’m hoping to spend here in the coming years, I feel that is justified - and obviously it will make photography that little bit easier too.
I’ve tried to ensure the plot is as productive as it can be, whilst maintaining an ordered structure. I’ve also considered things such as having a reasonable ‘service area’ for compost, wheelbarrow, water supply etc - but tucked away from view to an extent. A small (for now - watch this space!) lawn area with bench and kennel for the dog will be surrounded by flower beds and a water feature - a space for the children to sit & have a picnic on those days they don’t feel like helping out.
The entire plot will be surrounded by a small hedge - likely hornbeam (purely for cost reasons) - partially to buffer the wind, and partially to stop the dog from escaping onto neighbouring plots!
The plot is essentially split into 2 halves, with a central path down the middle leading to a combination shed & greenhouse, behind which (and hidden from view) will be 3 large water butts This path is flanked by small grass borders leading to 3.6m x 1m modular raised beds. At the end of each of these beds will be arches stretching across the path, to be used for climbers such as Pea, Beans, Achocha etc
The greenhouse / shed combi will have cold frames either side, and hedging will move towards the centre from the edges to enclose both the ‘service’ area and the ‘garden’ area, effectively creating ‘rooms’ within the plot.
The very end of the plot is a large (3m tall, perhaps) fence that is perfect for climbers - I’ll take advantage of that on both sides to add more interest, as well as screening off the adjoining houses.
Between the modular beds the paths are spaced at 60cm - I had hoped to make this less to accommodate more beds, but a quick mockup on the plot last week showed that to be unworkable. The ends of these paths however can easily accommodate a pot or two, increasing the growing space further.
There is an awful lot of work still to be done before the plot starts to reflect this design - as I mentioned in a previous post, this month is all about preparing the ground - next month I’ll start adding some structure. I plan to build, rather than buy ‘flat pack’ as much as I can - which for someone with very little DIY skills will be a challenge, to say the least.
Today saw the arrival of a 3x2 Polytunnel which will (hopefully) be assembled and temporarily be positioned in the ‘garden’ area top-right of the plot (which, in any event will be the last part of the plot to be prepared). The tunnel won’t be a permanent fixture in this design though, and for now will be there for storage and to keep materials away from the elements during the build process. But, if all goes to plan, the tunnel will still be in use when this plot is complete (wink, wink!).