We finally have our shed! It was kindly gifted to us. Now we have to decide on a colour… purple, or purple?
Unfortunately the orientation of the base slabs had to be changed due to the proportions of the shed, but this was a relatively quick job as the ground was already flat.
The base of the shed had been damaged over the years and some of the edges had rotted. We decided that it was best to treat the wood, as this hadn’t been done by the previous owner. I took some pallet wood and nailed it underneath to strengthen the rotten ends.
I was actually away visiting a friend at the weekend so I wasn’t there whilst the shed was being built. It took two days to move the panels and build the shed. The edging panels around the roof have also rotted, so those will be replaced. Apart from that the shed itself is in great condition, a good find! Hopefully we can paint the shed next week.
As frustrating as it has been, not planting up the right side was a blessing when moving the shed. We needed a place to rest the panels, which could have resulted in squashed crops if we had powered ahead! Now that the shed is up, we have been able to store our tools, move the spare pallets and just generally tidy the allotment. Fingers crossed we can finally finish the right side!
I have planted some pumpkins in the plot in front of the herb garden and hope to plant some seeds in the other plots. If all else fails we can at least get the ground ready for next year. Some more tomatoes and strawberries have been planted as well.
The first blackberries are starting to ripen! A little earlier than I expected but I hope for a long crop of them. I have also discovered that we have a little gooseberry bush! It has been hiding under the elder tree. There are just two lonely berries on it and unfortunately the base of the bush is behind the fence so it cannot be moved. There is a lot of new growth on it so hopefully I can take some cuttings from it.
We have kept the back of the left side somewhat wild looking. The plot in front will be a wild flower garden so they will work perfectly together. The elder and the brambles are somewhat intertwined with one another but I don’t mind that. The ivy does need to be removed but that has also become intertwined with the elder due to lack of care from previous tenants, so that may be a little more difficult to remove but I am always up for a challenge!
We have had the allotment for one month! I must say it has gone quickly. Most of our evenings after work and our weekends are spent here, we have already had several compliments about how good the allotment looks and that it hasn’t looked like it in years!
But unfortunately, this week has been a strange one. We had started work on the right side last week but have been unable to continue due to other jobs that have popped up and lack of storage space; frustrating but the reality of having an allotment.
As mentioned in my last post, two plots on the right side have been turned over, along with some of the side border. Once the compost bin is finished, the majority of the mess will be gone. We have collected 10-12 pallets for a variety of projects. Some will be used for our compost bin and some will be used for planters. I’m sure there will be plenty left over for our other projects. We managed to pick these up for free; we are trying to keep the allotment as low waste and cost as possible.
Tepees were erected for the beans to grow on. We would have put them on the right side of the allotment if it had been ready, but actually I quite like the symmetry. We won’t be able to plant them in this exact position next year as we hope to have trees here, but I would like to keep the beans somewhere along the path.
The weather has been so hot and dry the last week, which has also hindered us. A lot of the plants looked quite sad and droopy at first, but there are now signs of growth everywhere you look.
It is week three and we are powering ahead! The left side is now almost completely planted up. Plot one and two are potatoes, plot three is garlic, onion, celeriac and cos lettuce, plot four is a mixture of leafy greens and plot five is strawberries and rhubarb; but we still have a few strawberries to plant.
The paving slabs for the path and the base of the non-existent shed have also been laid, but I can’t take credit for that. It is relatively straight but does follow the contours of the plot in some places, no complaints here though. The ground at the back [under the shed slabs] is poor quality and was a nightmare to prepare for the slab laying, so the layout has worked well for us.
We have now started preparing the right side of the allotment. Plots 11 and 12 have now been turned over, they just need to be raked and marked off. We aren’t 100% sure what we will be planting as of yet, but I know beetroot and carrot will be planted in one of them, probably plot 12.
I have already begun planting in plot A and C, these will be planted with pollinator friendly flowers to encourage the bees. They will spread out over time but I hope to put some wildflowers in with them next year.
The herb garden is well under way. So far we have four thyme varieties, three mint varieties, regular and garlic chive, tarragon, sage, rosemary, parsley and a curry plant. There are a couple of others we would like but are yet to find.
We have so much thyme on our hands. Initially we only had two, but were given another variety, then I came across a variety I remembered from my childhood. I thought I was going mad until I found it at a garden centre as no one could remember this bush; the variety is Golden Thyme. It has a bushy texture with a wonderful citrus smell. It took me back in… thyme.