This is a quick sketch I did of the layout of my allotment as it was a few days ago. It’s just about 10 m by 10 m square, although some of the edges are hard to find at the moment! Having borrowed a cordless strimmer, I started making some inroads into the weeds yesterday, but there’s a way to go on that phase of the project.

You can click through to a larger version of the image. In the top lefthand corner, where is says there are volunteer spuds, there aren’t – they’re a bit lower down. That spot right in the top corner is now where two plastic compost bins have been set up, and I am filling them with fresh horse manure to rot down.

Over on the right hand side, where it says ‘Tool Store’, that was just my initial guess about where it might sit. That spot seems unlikely now, as there are flatter, barer spots that will be easier to put the tool store on initially.

For this season, work on the allotment will be short-term stuff, clearing it and planting annual crops and giving a home to anything that is being rescued from the garden. But I’d like to have a long-term plan in mind, so that there’s a design, or at least some sense, in where the plants go. Currently more than half the plot is planted with mature fruit bushes – a bit of a treasure trove to inherit, but it does mean that I have to plan to avoid running out of space for everything else. The raspberries on the right hand edge may have to move; there may well be others in the middle, it’s a bit hard to tell at the moment. The hybrid berry has gone rampant and needs a good chop.

I want to find space for an asparagus ‘bed’, as I have 10 plants on the way from Victoriana Nursery Gardens. Yes, plants – not crowns – that can be planted out now.

It may not endear me to my neighbours, but I don’t want a conventional allotment, all serried rows of plants and endless hoeing. I want something a bit more holistic and resilient, with mulches and groundcovers and interesting plants all over the place. A forest garden in miniature, perhaps, although it will have to borrow the canopy layer from the trees to the south of the allotment site.

That arrow pointing to the bottom right corner is the direction of north, by the way.

Any ideas? Nothing is set in stone, although it would be nice to keep the fruit bushes as they look productive (although how many blackcurrants I can use remains to be seen). I am a bit short of inspiration at the moment, it has been smothered by the weeds.