Although this comes as part 3, I think it’s fair to say that planning starts before the first spade or forkful of soil has been lifted.
I’m not good at planning. I can make plans all day long but then I get bored and/or change my mind or have to adapt when reality decides not to co-operate with the beautifully crafted plan.
With plot 1, the only plan was that I would have 8×4 beds. That lasted two years, when I realised that I needed bigger areas to grow potatoes, brassicas and peas. I still had beds but relaxed the size specification.
Then there was the plot wide blackberry hedge; truth be told I’m not that fond of blackberries. They are either too sharp or too soft and syrupy and both cause my face to pucker up in a line-inducing manner. So they had to go. That opened up space to be used for two more raised beds and a double row of cordons: four each of apple and pear.
I also realised at plot 1 that I just didn’t give myself enough room to move about and the layout was inconsistent – some beds ran the width of the plot and others ran vertically up the plot, which meant dead-end paths and detours.
I made a determined effort with plot 2 to start with a plan; a wide central path – two whole feet! I’m having fewer raised beds but I am creating beds by laying 40cm concrete slabs, horizontal to the main path.
Here’s the initial plan and the progress so far.
The lawn wasn’t in the original plan, it was going to be flower beds but then I discovered that it’s full of cherry tree roots and now it’s a lawn!
I’ve also moved the location of the greenhouse. Siting it between the compost bins and the trees again makes use of ground full of tree roots and is in a more sheltered location. Putting it behind the wendy shed would also put it out of sight with a good chance I’d do daft things like forget to close the door or go in and water…
The tool shed is behind the Wendy shed and in between I’ve constructed a lean-to arrangement to keep the canes, poles and other bits reasonably dry.
The polytunnel is now at the front of the plot; not because I don’t like my neighbours but in the hope it will provide some shelter from the prevailing wind.
The fruit cage will be located at the very back of the plot, which is in sun for most of the day and is close to the water butts. The rest of the area covered in weed membrane will have a small 6×4 potting shed (the purple one from plot 1) and a growing-on area adjacent to the greenhouse. That’ll keep me busy for the next few months until I can start digging again!
How have your plot plans been modified over time?