allotment inspiration via
A few months ago, Richard and I became the proud owners of an allotment! We had been trying to grow some things at his brother’s place, but found that we rarely had the time to make the drive out there in order to tend to it.
After talking to a neighbor in our little building, he mentioned that he was part of an allotment garden just a 10 minute walk down the road, and that he thought there might be spots available! Turns out the space right beside his was available, and so we put in our request. Unfortunately, by the time we did so, it had been claimed by another person. However, we found out that three more plots were becoming available by the end of the year, and we could come take a look if we wanted.
allotment inspiration via
In this instance, not getting the plot we asked for turned out to be a blessing in disguise! One of the three plots was even better than the first! Our new little garden has not just one, but four fruit trees already established! (It also has one tree that we have no idea what it is. It could be fruiting, or ornamental, but we won’t know until spring/summer.)
The trees do mean we have less space for growing things, but it’ll be amazing to have our own apples (two kinds), plums, and cherries! I am so excited for summer baking! In addition to the fruit trees, there are some raspberry bushes, lavender plants, and a little grape vine on the allotment. Most of it we’ll take out, because it’s all overgrown and taking up space, but we’ll give them to other people in our garden who would like them.
Before we can get to planting, there are a few projects we need to complete, as well as a lot (I mean, a lot!) of soil prep. We’re going to build a wee little shed on one corner for tool and seed storage, with a little patio area beside it. Hopefully, we’ll divide and plant some of the lavender as a border along the one edge beside our shed. While we both like lavender (the smell when a breeze hits, not to mention baking opportunities!) the current placements and size don’t work.
black shed inspiration via
I’m looking to paint the shed dark grey or black, after being inspired by all the black in Manhattan Nest blogger Daniel Kanter’s backyard. It really makes the green of the plants pop! If we get it up in time, I’m hoping to grow some clematis on a trellis along the one side, and then install a window box of nasturtium under the little shed window. Add some mason bee houses (shaped like honeycomb) and voila! Perfect little shed!
herringbone brick inspiration via
For our little patio area, we are thinking of using reclaimed brick, possibly laid out in a herringbone pattern. Lots of houses in our neighborhoods keep redoing their brick driveways and walls, and we’re hoping to score some free brick! We could also use it to make some cute brick pathways between the crops…
small brick path via
The allotment will take a lot of work before we get to the fun stuff. We have to completely rip out all the weeds and till the soil… not to mention prune all the trees (not sure anyone ever did), remove the plants we don’t want, divide and replant the lavender, etc. etc. Only then can we really plant new things.
We have lots of seeds already, and will be growing plenty of unusual vegetables. I am of the opinion that yellow carrots, striped beets, and black or green tomatoes taste better than their normal counterparts. Below are some of the seeds we are hoping to grow!
rainbow chard via // green zebra tomato via // watermelon radish via // rainbow carrots via // striped beets via // sour gherkins via
Richard has also started growing some chili seeds from Nepal in our flat, that he wants to try and transplant in the allotment. Apparently these chilis are very spicy, but don’t upset your stomach! Cool huh? We’ll just have to see if they work.
I’ll share our progress once it’s no longer snowing outside (say what?!), and we can get started on preparing the soil and shed area. But for now, I’ll simply dream of sunny days spent on our little patch of paradise.