Here are some beautiful allotment ideas to inspire your next, green-fingered adventure. Whether you have an allotment, a little patch out back, or just a window box, growing plants is a creative and fun way to spend time.
With food prices rising allotments can help take the edge off the grocery bill, and also grow a sense of community. So, if you are an allotment newbie, or need to get re-inspired, read on to get the dirt on the next vegetable patch sensation!
From moon gates to no-dig growing, herb parterres to glorious greenhouses, take your allotment to the next level.
The Runner Bean Moon Gate
Moon Gates make a spectacular entrance to any section of the garden and is our top beautiful allotment ideas to inspire your creative spark. Put one up for your runner beans to climb over. You can tie canes together or buy a frame ready-made.
A moon gate is a great way to frame a view or to mark a transition between areas within the allotment. As long as the central opening is roughly circular you can make a simple frame with some lengths of willow, or bamboo tied with twine or clipped with cable ties.
The Edible Pond
Water Lillies are a beautiful addition to any garden plot, and the pond doesn’t have to be big to provide plenty of edible plants. The root of a white water lily (nymphaea alba) can be sliced and added to stir-fry meals or soups.
Watercress grows like crazy. You will be harvesting it every day through the summer months. It will die back over Winter but will return in late spring as an enthusiastic herald for summer.
Water spinach is a top pick. It is an Asian chef’s staple, and it grows well in warm weather. Use it in salads or sandwiches!
Mentha Aquatica, or water mint, is a strong-flavoured herb that you won’t need too much of, but it grows all year round, so you will always have a supply.
The Green House
A greenhouse doesn’t have to be an expensive option. Allotments are all about reusing and recycling plants and materials. Putting together a selection of second-hand windows to create a growing space that captures and enhances the power of the sun is well within reach.
Check out your local Freecycle group. If you can’t find what you want you can ask. There is a good chance that someone will be upgrading their windows.
Freecycle is also a great way to find plants and other items to kit out your allotment such as pavers for pathways, or old cardboard packing boxes for weed suppression.
The Chamomile Lawn
It’s not all work on an allotment. It’s also a place to retreat to. Here is another of our favourite beautiful allotment ideas to inspire! An allotment is an oasis of calm where you can browse seed catalogues, do a crossword, or sometimes just do nothing at all.
A chamomile lawn doesn’t have to be big to be effective. Just big enough to set a deckchair on is room enough to feel the benefit.
The plant is a dwarf version of the regular herb but should be kept as short as possible, especially after flowering when it might run to seed. When crushed underfoot it releases a mild soporific, calming aroma that will soothe the most frayed of nerves.
The Dead Hedge
A dead hedge is a brilliant way to upcycle all the waste material you might accumulate on or around your vegetable patch. Simply push in a double row of posts, from a foot high, to two, or three. Weave thin branches between them and infill with all your trimmings and waste materials.
Not only will this save you trips to the dump, but it will also help create a wonderful space for bugs and other creatures. Hedgehogs love a dead hedge, and the rotting material at its base will feed the surrounding soil too.
You can use dead hedges to create a barrier, to keep out pests from sensitive planting, or grow sweet peas, runner beans or squash. All the hard items that are difficult to compost can be used to create your living dead hedge!
The Herb Labyrinth
The labyrinth is an evergreen idea that is found in some of the greatest gardens in the world. However, it can be perfectly tailored to fit in the smallest of spaces and is a beautiful way to set up your herb garden.
A labyrinth is a circular patterned structure that can be set out with a couple of stakes and a piece of string. Use recycled stone pavers, slate chippings, or mulch to create your walkways.
Divide up the herbs by height so that the tallest are in the centre of the circle. Plant a winter hardy lavender at the entrance to your labyrinth to frame the way in. Tarragon, oregano, thyme, and basil grow well in British herb gardens.
Rosemary likes a dry, sheltered spot, while watercress thrives in the damp.
The Sheltered Sitting Place
Let’s face it, the maritime climate of the British Isles means that even the sunniest days can sometimes turn showery. While it’s great to have a shed to shelter in, sometimes it can be nice to not go indoors.
Sheds can be musty, dark spaces. Transform one end of a shed by extending the roof to give a little outdoor shelter from the wind and rain. Build in a bench with storage for pots and sacks of mulch underneath.
Angle the sitting space so it catches the sun and also protects you from the wind. Put a shelf on one side big enough to hold a tea mug and flask. At the local DIY store pick out a colourful wood stain to make it stand out.
The Food Forest
If your allotment is out on the edge, close to an embankment, or other wild piece of ground take advantage of the trees and shrubs that already grow there. Try companion planting cherry, cobnut and elderberries. This not only gives shade, fruits, and nuts but will also help develop mulch and keep moisture in the ground.
Cherry trees are fast-growing and can reach five feet in three years from seed. You don’t have to wait that long. Bare root whips are readily available from many garden centres in the autumn.
In the spring their pink and white blossoms will be a wonder to behold. At the end of August pick their fruit for summer puddings and winter preserves.
Take Time to Talk!
If you are starting out on your allotment adventure chances are your plot will be a splurge of wild abandon with old perennials running wild, brambles curling and nettles lurking.
The other tenants on the patch will be a mine of information. They know what plants will thrive and which species struggle and may help you discover new, unthought of, beautiful allotment ideas to inspire you!