March 29, 2015

Our Kitchen garden extension (The Boutique Allotment Plus)

  Ha Ha, as the saying goes, be careful what you wish for! You may recall my previous blogs about my love of kitchen gardens, both designing them and managing them! This passion includes advising clients and designing their kitchen gardens. You may also recall my award-winning show garden at Grand Designs Live with the…

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June 17, 2013

Our Boutique Allotment-Support and protection

Its that time of year when many of our crops, or even our ornamental planting, need stakes and supports if they are to stay upright or climb & clamber.  It is also that time where our crops need protection from a variety of garden pests if they are to survive birds; slugs; insects etc. and…

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May 25, 2013

Chelsea flower show 2013-My impressions mark 2: My top themes from Chelsea

  As ever with remarkable RHS shows such as Chelsea, there is a huge amount to see and take in: its rather like being in a favourite perfume or clothes shop!.  Despite the mass of things to experience, from show gardens to stalls to plant displays in the Great Pavilion, there were a number of…

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May 18, 2013

Our boutique allotment: Sustainable approaches to growing food

“We have not inherited the land from our ancestors; we have borrowed it from our children …”
   by Dennis J. Hall
 Office of Land Use   To me, this statement helps to define the very essence of why we need to ensure that we preserve and effectively manage the environment in which we live.…

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April 11, 2013

Our boutique allotment: Seeds, setts and chitting potatoes

Since my last blog about the plot: finishing the raised beds and constructing the polytunnel (as illustrated below!), things have been pretty busy deciding what to grow, getting seeds germinating and creating some key elements of our organic plot including a bug hotel seat and a compost area.  This blog is going to focus on…

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February 25, 2013

Our boutique allotment: The growing environments: Polytunnels & raised beds

It’s been a cold but busy few weeks on our plot in North Manchester & we have been putting the building blocks in place for our first growing season on our Boutique allotment.  We have been busy doing two things: Constructing our Polytunnel on an area of hardstand –indoor growing areas for bringing on seeds…

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January 14, 2013

Our boutique allotment Plot: Boards, bow saws and beds

Well, it’s not as easy as it looks this bed-building lark. As New Year hit, we could not contain ourselves any longer and headed to the allotment, spades and forks to hand.  Our plan was to dig over our small plot, to ‘level it’ a bit before covering in geotextile membrane and placing our raised…

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December 9, 2012

Our boutique Allotment Plot-Walking the Plank

Last month I was talking about the options for creating raised beds on our boutique allotment that we’ve just taken on.  This weekend, in the damp and somewhat unenthusiastic winter sunshine, 50 ‘scaffolding planks’ were delivered by a reclaimed timber yard for the construction of those beds.  These boards had just been removed from a…

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November 22, 2012

Our new Boutique Allotment-Lots of Plans and Lots of Water…

It may seem like its an obvious thing for any self respecting landscape designer to do-take on an allotment plot and grow plentiful supplies of organic fruit and vegetables, all making it look like the most effortless and aesthetically pleasing of horticultural endeavors…. Well, not exactly… It’s all not quite so straightforward.   We have…

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