Allotment Sheds

The British concept of allotments might be foreign to most Americans. These small garden plots are temporary, but that doesn’t stop many gardeners from building their own creative allotment sheds—many of which could become a tiny house, as it happened to this man a few years ago.

An allotment garden, or just allotment, is a small plot in a community garden given to a group or individual for growing food plants. The gardens are granted for a short amount of time and are rotated through different paid memberships. The term victory garden, coined in World War I and II, can also be used for these small (usually between 500-5,000 square feet) plots of land. Allotments are utilized in many countries including Denmark and Sweden, the Czech Republic, Russia and Greece.

While allotments and their sheds are not for residential purposes, many sheds built to house tools and other garden implements become temporary homes for gardeners as they work on their land. These sheds will sometimes have small wood stoves to keep gardeners warm in some of the rainy, cold weather that plagues Northern Europe. Other sheds have seating and tables, cots for napping and small camping stoves or a storm kettle to stir up some fresh garden fare. What is also fun and unusual is how creative some people can get with their sheds by using recycled materials or whatever is lying around the allotment.

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The lovely Katie Lane gardens, cooks and eats at her allotment with a storm kettle and a small gas stove and oven. She writes about her adventures on Plot 15c on her blog, Lavender and Leeks. She even gives us a peak into her “girly” shed on YouTube.

 

Robs-Shed-2

This allotment shed is made from recycled pallets. This website gives you tips on how to build an allotment shed.

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Skansens koloniträdgård

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English-pride-shed

 

Photos by Wikimedia, The Telegraph, Mary Ellen Garden, Democracy Street, Rule Brittania

 

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

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Malene - September 23, 2014 Reply

Many allotments in Denmark have slightly larger sheds, that many people live in during the summer. Many of those sheds are very similar to tiny houses.

Gerrie Rousseau - September 23, 2014 Reply

Sorry, but these look like shacks. Is this what we’re destined to live in once the 1% takes everything. Small homes are great, but I would go nuts in such a little space.

    becky - September 23, 2014 Reply

    they aren’t for living in. they are tool sheds that are also used for cooking/relaxing in while working on a garden which may be some distance from your home.

Wendy - September 23, 2014 Reply

Thank you for a wonderful glimpse into a charming tradition!

pohada - September 23, 2014 Reply

Stellar idea Love the work sheds!!!

Gerrie, If you had a garden, hopefully you would be too busy to spent much time in the tool shed and could go home to your abode
when the days work is done in your garden.

Katie - September 23, 2014 Reply

Hi, I really enjoy you blog.

I recognize the picture of the red and yellow allotment houses from Skansen in Stockholm. They are delightful.

When visiting August in Germany I was surprised to see little gardens crammed together with sheds along the railroad tracks between Berlin and Potsdam. They were verdant and lovely. My curiosity led me to this info. http://www.berlinfo.com/Freetime/Recreation/parks/rec_gardens/.

Lynne - September 23, 2014 Reply

Some of my all-time favorite TV shows incorporate allotments and their sheds in the storylines: Last of the Summer Wine, Good Neighbors, and one episode of Rosemary and Thyme. I had never heard of these until watching these British shows. I have often thought that it’s too bad they can’t be used for permanent dwellings

    Adrian - November 16, 2014 Reply

    You’re not supposed to live in an allotment shed, that’s very true, but I know of at least one instance. I used to have an allotment on a large site up in East Finchley, in North London, and an old guy who rented two plots side by side gave up living with his married daughter and just moved in to his shed. The management connived at the arrangement, and the old guy even got his pension books delivered to the shed, care of the management office. It was a pretty good shed too, warm and weatherproof, and I’m sure he was comfortable. Made me rather envious!

Shell - September 23, 2014 Reply

This was quite interesting. Thanks for posting it. : ) Namaste

Jon - September 24, 2014 Reply

I love these photos and think the allotment movement makes city living bearable. I’m in Vienna at the moment and here allotments ‘Kleingarten’ originally rented out for growing food from almost 100 years ago have recently been built on with tiny houses.
I think people live in them in the summer months and then only at weekends later on. If anyone knows more about them I would love to find out! You can see my photos here.

http://es.pinterest.com/jonathanclark73/allotments-of-vienna/

John LOSH - November 23, 2014 Reply

yes, gardening and sheds go together like the horse and carriage! An outdoor storage shed is a good thing to have to keep your tools. I’ve seen many people transforming sheds like the ones in your pictures into nice summer houses. I like the recycled pallets one 🙂 very original!

Shawn at CEP - November 24, 2014 Reply

I think those sheds are a thrifty idea and good way to save a lot of money.

Sheds - January 14, 2015 Reply

Thanks for the allotment shed photographs. What kind of maintenance is required on those sheds?

How To Build An Allotment Shed - My Shed Plans Guide - January 23, 2016 Reply

[…] Allotment Sheds […]

Build An Allotment Shed - The Shed Plans - May 30, 2016 Reply

[…] Allotment Sheds […]

Clement Lafontaine - April 27, 2017 Reply

Interesting, would you live in one of them. They seem a lot better for storage or even leisure. Good post.

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