{} Gardening/construction: introduction, with photographs, 2020

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Growing and construction in my two allotments from 2010 to 2019 are documented in a separate, much larger page, Gardening/ construction: introduction, with photographs, 2010 - 2019.

See also other gardening pages, with information about innovations and new ideas, some of them introduced on this page:

Gardening techniques: Composting, weeding, water     collecting, digging and no dig cultivation
Bed and board
Structures: plant protection and support
Structures: cloches, greenhouse, store/shelter, shed
Some design principles in gardening

And, also, the page

Design/construction - other

2020

Preliminary documentation, written in early May. It will need to be revised and extended, of course. The word 'documentation' isn't adequate in the least to describe the events of the year, dominated, of course, by Coronavirus. The torrential rain in the winter and the widespread flooding, with their human cost and economic cost, were followed by the enormous human cost and economic cost of the pandemic. The allotments have been an enormous benefit and advantage. I can at least say that I've worked very hard over the years to be able to take advantage of what they have to offer, which is a very great deal. The opportunity to harvest fresh food without the worries of social distancing is only one benefit.

So far, I've been able to make many improvements in the allotment. There have been innovations and new ideas, followed by the work of realization and development.

Above, an existing structure, constructed of curved polycarbonate sheets, now becomes the PHD multi-function straw-store. Its main function is storage of straw bales, protecting them from rain, but it also has advantages in weed control, the supply of weed-free soil, and, after removal of weed-free store and the addition of pond liner, it can be used for storage of water, whilst the above ground structure for straw bale storage remains. The straw- store is documented on my page Structures: greenhouse, cloche, store/shelter, shed.

A new storage structure has been added above the platform on the North side of the triangular greenhouse, the roof box which was fixed to the van I replaced earlier this year.

A new solar composter has become the largest composter on these allotments. They are documented in detail on my page on Gardening techniques. Above, view of the exterior of the PHD solar composter and below, a view into the interior.

Above, the strong support for the large, established grape vine Vitis Brandt, made up of two vertical wooden posts, the left post clearly visible, the right post almost all covered by another plant, golden hop, Humulus lupulus aureas. The two posts are prevented from moving inwards by the horizontal wooden bar towards the top of the structure. Above this is a strong chain, which supports the stem (rod) of the vine. There are also strong chains hanging down by the side of the vertical wooden posts. These three chains support horizontal fibreglass poles. Laterals are tied to these fibreglass poles. The photo shows the vine in early May, not very long after growth resumed. There are 5 more grape vines already planted, variety Regent. The grapes can be used for making red wine as well as for dessert use. All the vines are pruned using a rod-and-spur (cordon) system.

Below, the grassy area between the two lines of hazel trees, with a view of the store/shelter. The larger structure which includes this store/shelter also includes the straw bale store visible here and behind it, not visible here, the main apple store, constructed of wire mesh. The grassy area was sown with bluebell bulbs last autumn. In this photo, the bluebell flowers are beginning to emerge. Many more emerged later, here and in the adjoining grassy areas on the other sides of the hazel trees.

Another view of the area, in dappled sunshine.

A view of one of the apple trees at blossom time, a Dabinett cider apple tree:

Below, two views of the trellising system I've designed for grape vines, explained briefly on the page Gardening structures: protection and support.

Below, addition of reinforced polythene sheeting to part of the structure, detail.