community garden

The Allotment Garden: June 2018

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

Okay, so many changes here! I’m so excited about our garden this year, and all the things we are hoping to harvest! I took these photos about mid June, and already so much has changed! I can’t wait to see where we end up in August. Or even September!

I recapped our allotment in this post a couple weeks back, and used the following illustration to show the layout of our first plot.

Allotment plans for 2017 | Hello Victoria

To show all the changes that we’ve made this year so far, and our plans for all the plants, I created a new illustration for 2018. You can see it below.

Allotment Plans 2018 | Hello Victoria

So first big changes up from last year, are the greenhouse and a second plot! Richard is so incredibly proud of the greenhouse. It took a while to build, but mostly because we were doing it in winter and there’s only so much time you want to spend freezing your butt-off outside painting pallets. The frame was built out of pallets that Richard got from his work, and for so long it looked like we were building a pen for animals. 🙂 Then he added some curved plastic pipe for the roof supports, a shelf made of pallet scraps for starting seeds at the back, and everything got covered in plastic! The thing that took the longest was painting it all with the same stain as the shed (Tudor Black Oak) as pallets have so many nooks and crannies.

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

We’ve used it to start all our seeds this year, and made use of both the shelf as well as the bare ground to keep large bins full of seed trays. It was great to not have our windowsills full of little trays, like last year. 🙂 Now that everything has been planted out, it’ll mostly be used to grow all our tomatoes, chili peppers, and cucamelons.

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

Outside of the greenhouse I opted to plant some lupins and salvia because I wanted to fill the space a bit, and make it look prettier. On the other side I moved some forget-me-nots that kept showing up on our plot to make it look nicer. Our allotment neighbour has them, and they keep seeding little plants all over our plot. Since I like free flowers I decided to simply move them, rather than get rid of them.

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

Beside the greenhouse we have our shipping-boxes-turned-raised-beds from last year. We’ve moved them to a slightly different spot because of the greenhouse, but they’re in the same part of the plot. Instead of lettuce greens (which we always forgot to pick) we’re growing all of our herbs in two of the boxes, while keeping the third for carrots and radishes like before. Hopefully the nasturtiums, which are planted around the two herb boxes, will really fill out and spill into the middle… so pretty!

Allotment updates June 2018 | Hello Victoria

Over by the greenhouse is our shed! I gave it a couple of fresh coats of stain, as it was looking a bit worn after the winter. And of course, we gave it a much larger patio! If you follow along on Instagram, you will have seen the progress on stories. It’s soooo nice to have enough room now to sit with a few friends for a bbq, which would have been too cramped before. And I can’t stop loving the herringbone brick! We scoured Gumtree to find free bricks in our area, and then cleaned the old mortar off them to add to the existing patio. (more…)

The Allotment Garden: 2017

Allotment garden 2017 | Hello Victoria

Alright, if you’re not into gardens, then you may want to skip this post! And many of the ones after, ha! I’m becoming a bit obsessed with this allotment, and making it perfect…

So last year we took on our first plot at the allotment (coummunity garden) nearby. It had been left to get a bit overgrown as the previous owner couldn’t take care of it anymore. I talked about what our dreams for the plot were in this first post, as well as what we had done so far in this one. However, that is where my posts stopped! I kept wanting to take photos and post updates, but would think “I need to weed first” becuase I wanted super pretty ‘Instagram-worthy’ pictures. Well, that never seemed to happen, and then our tomatoes all got blight and I just gave up. I just never thought it looked good enough to document.

Buuut… it’s hard to really show how far we’ve come without first posting some photos from last year. They’re mostly just iPhone photos that I took to send to Richard while he was away, so he could see the progress. I apologize for their lack of quality.

So first up, we need to just remember where we started…

Allotment garden before | Hello Victoria

That was how the plot looked when we first signed up for it. It had rows of raspberry canes covering one half of the plot, a few giant woody lavender, a couple of rose bushes, and some fruit trees. Other than that, it was all just grass and weeds – completely overgrown.

Allotment garden 2017 | Hello Victoria

We pulled up all the old landscape fabric, and rotovated the two halves of the plot. Unfortunately, as we learned the hard way, certain weeds etc. just get worse if you rotovate. Richard had broken up and turned the soil on one half by himself, but then while he was doing the second half, the allotment site manager came over and offered to rotovate instead. Turns out they get broken up and churned into the soil – only to pop up later 100 times worse. You can see evidence of that in later photos…

Now, to make things less confusing let’s refer to some diagrams and images – shall we? Last year just after we cleared the site, we drew up some plans of what we wanted to do (this plan was in my post about what we had done so far).

Allotment plans last year | Hello Victoria

And of course, our plans changed as we went, and by the end of the summer, the actual plot looked like this. Oh, and my diagrams got better 🙂

Allotment plans for 2017 | Hello Victoria

Now, our plot essentially has two sides, broken up by the trees and grass in the middle (as shown in the diagram above). Let’s start by talking about everything that we did on Side A.

Allotment garden 2017 | Hello Victoria

the plastic shed base, laid on top of the white weed covering fabric

So one of the first things that we managed to do was create the patio area and shed. We ended up getting our shed assembled, because Richard was away at the time, and I can’t build it by myself (hard to lift and screw things together, simultaneously). The company delivered it and put it together in about 20 minutes! All I had to do was clear the area, level the ground, and install a base. To that end, I put down one of those plastic shed bases. It was super easy to put together, and came with landscape fabric to prevent weeds growing underneath. We could have gone with a wood base, or concrete, but the wood ones are super expensive, and the concrete wasn’t going to work on an allotment. (more…)

Allotment Dreams

Allotment garden inspiration | Hello Victoria

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 garden inspiration | Hello Victoria

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.) (more…)