After months of hard graft, it was finally time to tackle the shed. Since the allotment had really stated to take shape, the next job on the list was definitely some serious TLC for the little, wonky shed in the corner of the allotment. The whole thing was leaning to one side, the roof felt had blown away, the glass window had smashed and it was leaking. At first I thought it was a total write-off and wanted to replace it, but the more time we spent at the allotment the more we realised it had too much character to go on a bonfire, and after all, allotmenteering is all about recycling so we gave the shed a new lease of life.
Shed to-do list:
- Empty and take stock of everything inside
- Support the structure with a new strut
- Fix leaky roof and apply new felt
- Fix door hinges and install new lock
- Replace broken glass with clear acrylic panel
- Install a hook to keep door open
- Make bean cane slots for back of shed
- Put up guttering and install waterbutt
- Put up hooks and tool racks inside
- Enlist the help of husband and father in law to carry out necessary jobs above!
Et Voila! A perfectly functional 'new' Little Blue Shed!
I'm not going to even pretend to have done any of the jobs on the list above, but I did help out with the painting and the guttering. I'm really lucky to have family who are willing to put so much work and time into getting the allotment ship shape. I pay them well with regular Pimms breaks and baskets of veggies during the summer.
Lots of people don't have a shed on their allotments, but I wouldn't be without mine. It's not advisable to leave anything valuable inside, so just keep the bare essentials to hand, unless you live in a very safe area.
Here's my list of shed must-haves:
- A good digging spade and fork (plus spares in case you get willing help!)
- A few trowels and hand tools. I can't go anywhere without my Japanese Hori Hori Knife, which is essentially a long, thin, trowel with a sharpened edge. Perfect for digging and weeding.
- Weed screen or black membrane
- Clear plastic sheeting, ideal as a makeshift cloche for young plants.
- Bamboo canes of different lengths
- Foam kneeling pad or an old cushion
- A tin or Tupperware to keep seed packets organised in
- Large watering can
- Garden twine
- Thermos flask of hot tea 😊
Anyway, back to the task in hand. I chose the bright Forget-me-not blue shade (by Cuprinol) for the shed after much deliberation and test pots. Luckily we are not obliged to only use green for our sheds, so I settled on a happy blue colour to remind me of sunny days throughout the year. Later in the season I also put up brackets for some hanging baskets and a small trellis. It's all about the accessories!
And so Little Blue Shed was born, and with it the idea to document all the thrills and spills of allotment holding and growing your own. My dream of backyard sustainability is nearly within reach!
Head over to Instagram to see the journey from then until now.