It’s time to get serious about the allotment with some proper storage.
Last year was our first on the allotment. I was convinced it would all work out just fine, and given the pristine state that the plot was in when we took it on, there was little to suggest anything else would be the case. But because we’re a cautious pair, we decided to hold back from buying too many big things for the plot like storage or benches.
That means that while the allotment has been wonderful and we’ve achieved more in a year than we could possibly have imagined, it has been a little messy. Every gardener knows how easy it is for mess – particularly the black plastic pots that new plants come in, plant stakes and netting – to breed in a garden and end up taking over spaces. The other problem was that I was often catching the bus to the allotment on my own with a spade and a fork on my back in a camping rucksack, or carrying a strimmer through my town to the bus stop, and attracting some pretty odd looks.
So we decided to get a storage box for our tools. Our allotment site is very safe: most people don’t bother locking their sheds and storage boxes, and in all the years the King of the Plot, who is in his late seventies and took over his plot from his father, who had gardened there for 40 years, has been there, we have never had a vandalism problem. This means I’m reasonably happy about storing spades and a strimmer in the storage box.
Waltons very kindly supplied this garden storage chest for us to review on the blog. It’s made of good quality wood which is pre-treated, is a really good size: deep and wide. You could fit a lawnmower in here if you wanted. It is sturdy and well-made, too. This is important if, unlike my neighbours two plots down, you want something that isn’t going to disintegrate after two winters. I want this storage chest to last me for years.
Also, it looks good. It looks smart. It has nice hinges on the front flap.
Now the first thing you need to know is that this is a good storage box if you like doing DIY. The instructions are clear, but it will take you two to three hours from start to finish to assemble. They do offer a home installation service if you don’t like DIY, but it’s an extra £134, so it depends how valuable your time is, and how much you loathe drilling extra holes to screw the flat packed parts in place.
We put ours together yesterday, on a lovely sunny day. The King of our allotment site sauntered past, and ended up helping while I toddled off to prune the raspberries and finally cut out the final bed at the plot. It was all rather pleasant.
When we came to filling the box, we found there was an absurd amount of rubbish knocking around in pots and Ikea bags on the plot that just needed chucking out. Ah, how satisfying a spring clean is! And now the plot looks smarter and more business-like. One of my big plans for this year, having got the structure of the plot sorted, is to make it prettier, more like a garden as aside from my lovely balcony, this is the only garden I have. I’ll have more flowers and more fun things: a bench and some hazel arches to grow climbing flowers and pumpkins over. There’s also the annual allotment competition to think about. I’ll never beat the King of the Allotment: he is retired and visits his patch every day. But I’ve got a jolly good chance of coming second, which would be rather satisfying. Nothing like a bit of competition to keep you weeding away.
Thank you to Waltons for supplying this box for review.