Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Allotment Layout: A history

It’s easy to talk about allotments and gardens and not find them easy to understand.

Year on year, as we got to know our garden we understood things.

I have wanted a diagram of ours for a while so I’ve created this to help explain how our plot is laid out.

The plan has evolved in a completely haphazard way.

year 1
We got the plot in May and threw stuff in the ground, unsure of what went where or how it might turn out.

The first influences were veg we wanted to eat that we couldn’t get easily and cheaply.

So we aimed for parsnips first and foremost.

We failed. Of course.

But were more successful with lots of other things.


We were also lucky enough to gain a plot with lots of raspberry canes, one strawberry plant, rhubarb and red currants. We kept then all, not even knowing about the rhubarb or what it was to start with. We added more strawberries too.

We also had a paved area, a cold frame and a desperately well established couch grass population.

Year 2
We wanted blueberries. We bunged some in. They fruited.

Parsnips were a success! Phew! A black currant joined the red.

Year 3

This year was an apple tree year. Then we discovered a stump under an abandoned compost heap. Uncovered, it grew!

The fig tree was a different story!

We started potatoes too. I rarely had so much excitement as digging those up. It was odd dark earth, golden treasure, hidden and surprising!

The blueberries sagged. We did our homework and changed their soil. Now we give them thick layers of leaves every year too and they are thriving. Fruit as big as my thumb nail!

Year 4

The mystery stump sprouted and flowered. The flowers fell off. “It’s a pear tree!”

“Asparagus!” we declared, getting ambitious!

The fig tree perished. RIP!

Year 5

Plum tree. Oh make that one plum tree. Then it fell off : (


Since year five (it must be year eight now) we haven’t added that much in real features.

We move things, we allow things to develop. The diagram shows the key features.

We’ve learnt a great deal. We know that dock leaves are more appealing to black fly than beans are.

And that we prefer mint spreading to nettles, that comfrey leaves make potatoes happy.

We’ve had three plums. Once!

The bee hive has changed things as it has brought more flowers to the plot.

This Year

We are hoping to improve our parsnips (!) and to develop the latest permanent crops which are a keen interest of mine.

The flowers will lead to new knowledge and the bees may change how we can work.

One thing is certain, every year has been different. The success crops have always been different. The weather has been very significant too.

Can’t Wait!<


11 comments on “Allotment Layout: A history

  1. quarteracrelifestyle
    March 15, 2014

    Yes, every year is different – where some things thrive others disappear. Our fig tree has never disappointed but the plums, yep! Good luck this year 🙂


  2. Rambling Woods
    March 16, 2014

    We started our gardening 4 years ago knowing nothing. Now we know a bit. I love planting seeds and seeing them come up…. I planted some last fall… We will see.. Michelle


  3. benji1304
    June 3, 2014

    Great to read this, having just got our allotment it’s looking like quite a daunting task so far!

    What software did you use to draw out your plan? So far we’ve got a few pen and paper scribbles.


    • lizard100
      June 3, 2014

      I used a free download goggle sketchup. It’s easy to use. I hope your garden is growing well. It does take time but you’ll also get success quite easily. It gives inspiration.


      • benji1304
        June 3, 2014

        I thought it looked like sketchup, i’ll have to take a look.

        We’ve got plenty of growth, unfortunately so far it’s mostly weeds 😉


      • lizard100
        June 3, 2014

        Weeds = compost. They also protect the ground from losing too much nutrient content. It gradually gets better. Mulch is the answer.


      • benji1304
        June 3, 2014

        That’s what we’ve done so far.

        I need to clear out the weeds around our good plants and we were piling though to make a small compost heap. Then we were planning to cover / mulch the rear 3rd of the plot as it’s pretty wild and completely untamed at the moment.


      • lizard100
        June 3, 2014

        Cover is good. We’ve used thick cardboard and leaves really successfully.


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This entry was posted on March 15, 2014 by in allotment, Gardening, grow your own and tagged , .

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