The very word sounds ominous.  You need to know so many things before you can even get started, no jumping in and muddling through.  For an impulsive person like me, proper planning is tricksy.


Plot 33b, the New Street Cutting Garden.

I started by measuring my plot.  It’s 8m wide and 11 long on the one side, 13 on the other.  It has a slope from the top at the main path down to the fence at the bottom, then the land drops down a riverbank and into the river!  The width of the plot is North-South, the length East-West.  My neighbour on the South side has his sheds and greenhouses arranged along the top part of the plot, meaning the corresponding area of mine will have a certain amount of shade.

There are narrow paths running between the plots, the one to the North of me leads to the communal bonfire heap.  This is the path I made wider earlier in the year to prevent people and wheelbarrows ending up on my plot.  I have in mind an idea to grow a low living fence of willow on the bottom half of the plot along that path.  Basically I want to protect the flowers from the path, but I think it would be good to provide support and shelter from the wind too.  There are willows along the bank and I’m sure I could cut withies later in the year to use.

The plan in the photograph is only the latest version.  It seems to be the most useful of all the mad ideas I had, so for now it’s the one I’m sticking with.  Once I’d pretty much decided this was the one, I took myself and a metre stick, string and markers off to the allotment to mark it all out.  I marked 1m squares, figuring this would be easy to divide in half, and also easy to dig.  I’d feel more accomplishment if I dug it square by square, rather than looking at a section 5mx8m and wondering where on earth to start.


Looking from the top down, the posts encircle the vine, string criss-crosses the top half of the plot.

It looked like an archaeological dig for a long time!  I had plants at home that had been started off last year, as well as getting some bargains in the garden centres, so those went in as soon as there was space.  The fruit trees I’d inherited have stayed where they were.  I was going to move them, but now I think the only two that will definitely move in the Autumn will be the apple that’s found itself in the path by the shed, and the plum next to the vine.

I flattened an area 2mx3m in the North-West corner for the shed.  It’s a metre in from the grass path so I can plant a gorgeous climbing rose I got for my birthday from a friend. The plan is for it to grow up and over the shed eventually.  Now here’s the stickler – the shed.  Initially I just wanted something small and cheap, one of those sentry hut sort of sheds.  Teeny tiny, just enough room for the essentials and space to huddle when the heavens open up.  That was, until hubby and I went shed shopping and found this…  I fell in love.  It’s the perfect shed!

Not the perfect price, although that online price is £250 less than what we saw it for in the garden centre.  I have since found others on ebay, some that look pretty much exactly the same, others that look a little cheaper – and are.  But I’m stuck.  Do I shell out what is really quite a lot of money on this shed, or do I get a cheap one, and live with the consequences?  We all know the ditty – you get what you pay for.  Any advice, gardening gurus?


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