We new before we started that we needed a basic plan so we could get a feel for the space. Our grand plan is to create a natural space to support the abundance of wildlife in the garden as well as grow our own fruit and veg.
We know we want to include a small meadow, a wildlife pond, a kitchen garden, orchard and space to keep a few chuckies so we have decided to divide the garden into specific areas but nothing too fussy. Above all we want to create a natural space that flows throughout the garden.
Like all the good gardening books suggest we’ve started by preparing a basic plan. We made loads of sketches at first and then arrived at version 1 (left).
We’ve inherited a few features that we plan to retain and build on but in the main the entire garden is down to grass.
We have two mature trees slap bang in the middle of the plot. Turns out one is a walnut tree (pickled walnuts on the menu!) and the other a beech. They will need a little light pruning as they’ve been allowed to grow into massive specimens.
Our first decision was to allocate the bottom of the plot to the kitchen garden.
Basic requirements from our kitchen garden:
Veg garden, Orchard, Fruit garden, Polytunnel, Garden Shed, Cold frames, Composting area and space to grow plenty of herbs.
Although a herb garden was originally in the plan it’s actually too far from the kitchen, so we decided to relocate to outside the back door.
As you can see from the first version of our plan it doesn’t need to be a work of art. Just as long as you can clearly identify the areas and provide paths to get around the rest tends to fall into place. The veg patch is our tribute to the superb gardens in Villandry on the Loire Valley. A little pretentious I agree but reminds us of some great holidays we had with the kids in France.
Ideally we need to start growing this year so we need to get on with the fruit and veg garden ASAP.