Looking for some inspiring allotment ideas for your new or existing plot? Then read on!
For a long time allotment gardening was widely seen as the preserve of older men in flat caps as a place to potter about and sit in their sheds. Do you remember Arthur and his allotment in Eastenders, or am I just showing my age?
However, there’s a perfect storm which means more and more people are getting into allotment gardening. This storm being that food prices continue to grow higher and higher, whilst at the same time, more and more modern housing developments are created without any private gardens. It’s little wonder that allotments are growing and growing in popularity.
The Benefits of Allotment Gardening
There are many benefits to allotment gardening.
Firstly, allotment gardening is a great and cheap way to have access to your own plot of land for growing your own fruit and vegetables. Depending on where you are, it might cost you in the region of approximately £50 – £100 a year for a standard-sized allotment plot.
I’ve found that the allotment community is friendly and sociable, and can be a great place to meet people with similar interests. As you are working alongside other allotment holders, it’s also a great place to increase your gardening knowledge. And as well as sharing knowledge, many allotment gardeners are keen to swap seeds – meaning you can keep things fairly low cost. Allotment gardening is also a relaxing and fairly stress-free hobby, that is as long as slugs don’t attack!
Inspiring Allotment Ideas
Now, it’s true that allotments aren’t exactly renowned for looking particularly pleasing to the eye. However, whilst browsing the internet for allotment ideas for my own allotment, I came across a few that really grabbed me:
The Traditional Style
This traditional style allotment, found on Fennel & Fern, looks beautiful. That shed is the shed of dreams! They’ve also crammed a lot of produce in, so it looks like a really productive allotment.
It seems that with a bit of planning and forethought allotments can look good as well as be practical. Although it certainly does help if you have some stellar carpentry skills to create that shed!
A More Modern Approach to Allotment Gardening
Whilst browsing the internet, it also struck me that developers are cottoning on to the fact that people want access to garden space. These modern allotments at Saxton in Leeds are a great example of developers incorporating allotments into modern flat developments.
Although the plots are small there is still plenty of scope for growing a variety of different vegetables. And I have the say the multi-colour sheds are very aesthetically pleasing. Who wouldn’t want to be out at their allotment on a gloriously sunny day?
Images from Urban Splash
I know they aren’t the biggest of plots, but it’s given me all sorts of allotment ideas. A brightly coloured shed and some raised beds for starters!
Useful Allotment Resources
I have some useful vegetable growing resources that you might find useful:
- The vegetable seeds to sow in March
- The vegetable seeds to sow in April
- And the vegetable seeds to sow in May
- The vegetables to plant in Autumn
- A vegetable planting calendar and guide
Want Your Own Allotment?
All fired up and wanting your very own allotment? The best bet is to contact your local council. If that isn’t fruitful, the National Allotment Society may also be a useful port of call.
However, I’m not wanting to burst your bubble, but in case you weren’t aware, there is a terrible problem between supply and demand. Specifically, in that, there are often huge waiting lists for allotment spaces.
In some parts of Edinburgh alone there are 9-year waiting lists. And sadly, from what I am aware of, the Council is doing very little to help free up more land for allotments. In many places up and down the country, allotments have even been sold off by Councils to developers.
You might be wondering what you can do about this? Find allotment petitions that you can sign that call for the Government to introduce and implement a new allotment strategy to help improve the current provision and increase the number of allotments available to meet demand.
I have heard of some areas of the country where there are allotments ready and waiting for occupiers, so it may be that you are one of the lucky few. But, in any case, sign any petitions that you find to help anyone else less privileged.