The only strip of land sunny enough to grow vegetables in Syaka Beattie’s Chiswick garden was a ½ m wide strip between the decking and the fence, but it was too narrow and overgrown with next door’s honeysuckle. Syaka was desperate to grow her own Asian vegetables for her distinctive style of cooking, and turned to her local nursery for help as raised beds would take up too much room if they accommodated all that she wanted to grow.
Clifton’s directed Syaka to Treebox who suggested a vertical allotment. They designed one especially to suit the space and her growing needs. Bespoke slatted trellising was painted white and used to set off the growing troughs, which were filled with potting compost and supplied with automatic irrigation. Initially an area nearly 4 metres long was installed, but 6 months later Syaka requested another 3 metres. At first Syaka used Rocket Gardens, an online vegetable seedling supplier, but now she finds almost all her vegetables herself.
The vertical allotment consists of five troughs supported by timber uprights, all within easy reach. Treebox used a mixture of systems, and some of the troughs are removable for planting on a working surface.
The neighbours’ honeysuckle spread slugs to her garden, but these were kept at bay by a copper strip along the base of the vertical allotment. Now the only slugs to get in come over the fence, and are tackled by keeping the honeysuckle cut back.
Syaka finds that she can grow vegetables all year round, and nearly every day she cooks with something she has picked herself. Her children love interacting with the vertical allotment, and Syaka is so pleased with the way her garden looks clean and orderly. She has recently started adding decorative plants to create a more interesting display.
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