When we took over the allotment, one half of our current gardening space (the part next to the shed that gets partially shaded in the darker months, and gets some late afternoon shade even in the height of summer) was completely overgrown with grass and weeds. The only thing we were able to identify was some very obvious borage, and the only reason we knew there had been beds is because our plot neighbors told us so.

So we mowed it all and then I put my foot down and said that I wanted to develop that part of the garden organically, see what was there, and work around it…

Back then, my partner was more into what I call “neat and orderly gardening” – digging deep, putting everything in rows, weeding anything that wasn’t planted on purpose… So we decided he’d take care of the other half of the garden, which has full sun all day every day – and as far as we were able to tell had been used to grow strawberries and not much else.

In that first year, and also in 2020, both parts of the garden did about equally well – with different pros and cons to each area. The shading in “my” half of the garden makes it a bit challenging for some vegetables in the spring and autumn, but is definitely helpful with brassicas during our hot and dry summers.

In 2021, now that we’ve got most of the bindweed (and that horrible grass which I still haven’t been able to identify) under control we’ve decided to up our game and take a more methodical approach. The beds that are in full sun all day will be planted in rows while the other area will be given over to my daughter for her herbal garden and some more romantic, cottage garden style planting. Companion planting and succession planting will be done in all areas of our garden though. That’s a definite no-brainer.

Since the worst of the soggy winter is now over and we can walk on the lawn again without creating little ponds, I finally got around to measuring the beds. The next step will be to do the actual planning, but that’s an ongoing process for future videos. I certainly hope you enjoy this one – even if there’s not all that much to see.