Assessing the Plot in Detail – 2

Plot 17 – The Earthly Comforts Garden

Assessing the Plot in Detail

Part 2

If you read yesterday’s episode of The Allotment Plotters – What is it about the ARs? you’ll recall how Suze and l nicknamed the various parts of the plot to identify them more quickly, especially when it would eventually come to make decisions on how the spaces are best used.

Those areas are – Polly – Polytunnel, Runner [Chicken Run], Daisy [Wildflower/Wilding Orchard], The Strippers [Strips where fruit trees/bushes will be planted, Mucky Boyz [my compost and worm farming areas], The Rascals [raised beds] and Cottage Garden [the shed and the front plot to it] and all of them combined make The Earthly Comforts Garden.

The following three episodes will look into those areas a little more closely.

Today’s episode looks at the three large bare ground areas on Plot 17 – Daisy, Polly and Runner.

The main image of this episode is the view from just outside the gate.
[All photos 9th September]


Wilding Orchard
Daisy is a relatively large part of the main plot as she measures 19 feet wide and 21 feet long. The previous gardener used the plot’s central area to grow potatoes, and the debris pile you can see above is the pile of green waste left for us after the potatoes were extracted.

To the left of the image is a fig tree in its third year, and to the right and bottom is a range of short apple trees known as Knobbed Russets. To the novice to this variety, they are a very knobbly-looking apple.

At the end of this plot was a border filled with overgrown nasturtiums and an extremely aggressive and invasive mint bush planted directly to the ground in 2012 – meaning very deep rooted]. There are also some rhubarb plants on the plot here.

The plans we have for this area are to use it as a wilding orchard for five dwarf trees only of various fruits and a small path through – apple – plum – pear – apricot – peach or maybe a cherry.

We plan to keep the fig where it is but trim it into a better growing style and remove all the Knobbed Russet apple trees present as we are not huge fans of apples anyway and would rather grow a basic variety over one with lumps and bumps.

The mint and the nasturtiums and the rhubarb plants will either be removed or relocated into other areas of the garden.

Overall, keep it simple but a pollinator’s paradise with the ‘wilding’ aspect to it and the wildflowers and wild herbs. We would like to grow in this area to compliment the fruit trees and the fig – cornflowers, ox-eyed daisy, ragged robin, corn marigold, hemp agrimony, common knapweed, bugle, honeysuckle, forget me nots, wood anemone, foxgloves and also mix in some wild herbs such as wild garlic, fennel, borage, stinging nettles, common chives and maybe some giant parsley.


Polly is the second largest area of bare ground on Plot 17. She measures roughly 15 feet long [as an area that will be utilised for the polytunnel itself – although the actual size is much longer, it is space combined with Mucky Boyz composting]. The overall length is around thirty feet by 12 feet wide.

The area used to be an open pathway from the road that walkers could use to exercise their dogs. However, this caused considerable upset to plot renters as it also encouraged break-ins, vandalism, and dog mess that the walkers did not clean up. So the council closed the area off a few years back and offered the space to two of the renters – one said no, whilst Pete said yes.

You can see the old wooden gate in one of the images that shows the two black bins.

This was also used like Daisy to grow more potatoes. Pete and his wife were vast consumers of potatoes. Suze and l are not, although we tend to favour sweet potato more.

This area was also used as a dumping ground for rubbish like old wood, bricks and stones, and ageing items that were no longer needed but never disposed of. It needed a good clear-out.

At one end were black plastic composting bins, while on the opposite was a row of sunflowers. To one side is the neighbour George; on the other, an area now known as The Strippers is a row of red, black and white currants that are not good performers and need to be removed and the ground dug over.

Our plans for this stretch of land are twofold – to introduce a polytunnel measuring fifteen feet by six to eight feet wide on one end, and the opposite will be part of the Muckyboyz operation. The ground needed to be worked on to remove debris and make as flat as possible.


Chicken Run Area

Runner looking out over The Rascals
Runner is the third area of bare ground in Plot 17. It is a sunken bed measuring 14 feet long by 8 feet wide. If you would like to know and haven’t already guessed … Pete and his wife grew even more potatoes here! I am astonished at how many potatoes they did grow in one plot, in truth. Hey ho, such is the life of folks.

Here, we will have our chicken run for our 8-10 hens. We wish to make a wooden run covered in wire and have a coop. The run will be six feet in height and width and a length of 12 feet. So the residents will have a reasonably decent-sized area to call their own. We can’t have a cockerel due to the suburban residencies on the other side of the nearby hedge.

That hedge is a hawthorn bush that is four feet wide and currently [even with a recent trim and prune back] fifteen feet high. It’ll award shelter and protection from the winds to the chickens. It also means that people living in houses opposite the hedge will not see the chickens from their homes.

We will also have crock pots on the outside around the edge and a trestle on the sunnier side for growing vegetables.
Runner looking out over The Rascals

So there we go – the first three areas of The Earthly Comforts Garden – Plot 17

Thanks for reading and l’ll see you all next time.

Next Episode …

Assessing the Plot in Detail

Part 3

Published by The Autistic Composter

Earthly Comforts is a wildlife journaling scrapbook focusing on the countryside, wildlife biodiversity and environmental conservation, flora and fauna volunteering projects, gardening, composting and vermiculture, inspiration, poetry and photography.

17 thoughts on “Assessing the Plot in Detail – 2

    1. Hey Geoff, we are allowed to have 12 in total. I don’t think we will need 12 after sitting down and calculating our requirements however. So we will either go for 8 or 10.

      Time will tell on that.

      We don’t want to have too many in a small space as they will not be free range per se. We have requirements over here by DEFRA [Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs ] on how many chickens we have in an area and it will be that which will dominate the exact number to the space we allocate 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well you wouldn’t be the first to think that. Before they were called DEFRA they were called MAFF. They changed in 2001. MAFF stood for Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

        However after the whole cockup with the Foot and Mouth outbreak in the same year – MAFF were changed to try and improve the brand.

        So your version of DEFRA isn’t that far from the truth.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. What a nice, large area you have to work with, Rory! I like that you are situating the chicken run next to the Hawthorn bush. It will be nice a good windbreak in the winter and shade in the summer. Also the Haws will be much appreciated as they fall from the bushes when ripe. I remember my Grandmother making May Haw jam and it was delicious! Not sure, but going by the name they must have ripened in May in Southern GA. Wonder if it’s the same fruit as grows on your Hawthorn? They looked like miniature apples and the jam tasted like apple, if I remember right. It was a beautiful shade of light pink. Yummy! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Wine? Hmm! Wonder what that would taste like – apples, berries, or something totally unique? I used to like to make jellies, jams, fruit butters and wine, also. I enjoyed trying out the old time recipes best. I had a recipe for tomato wine that tasted like pink champagne and one made from beets that had the flavor of Port. It was fun experimenting and sharing the results with friends and family.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, how exciting! I’m really looking forward to being able to share this great adventure vicariously, Rory! Not sure that’s the appropriate word but it sounds good. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

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