1. Community allotment education space

This design was carried out in 2012 as part of my PDC and implemented that same year. It is a design for an enclosed garden space within a community allotment plot to be used for various education activities. I went on to use this space to run an allotment playgroup for toddlers and their parents for many years.



Blog post about the design process

Community allotment education space

Other related blog posts

See Design 3 Muddy Boots allotment playgroup

See Design 7 Muddy Boots garden re-design

Design summary and reflections.

DESIGN Community allotment education space







I did this design for my PDC in 2012. It was a design for a space devoted to education on a community allotment that I was involved with.


The design aimed to experiment with my new-found permaculture design skills and create a small area on the allotment that could be used to teach people about gardening. Much of my focus was on attracting families with young children to the allotment. This was a land-based design, designing, implementing and maintaining the garden on a small budget. My sister helped me implement this design as at that point she was employed by TCV to manage the community allotment.


WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT PERMACULUTRE FROM DOING THIS DESIGN? This was my first chance to put into action all of the info that I was learning on my PDC
WHAT DID I LEARN ABOUT MYSELF FROM DOING THIS DESIGN? I learnt that I was passionate about permaculture and that I wanted to carry on studying it once my PDC finished. I grew in confidence. I found time to be Emily again after 6 years of being ‘mummy’
HOW HAS THIS DESIGN HELPED ME? The opportunity to do this design and have access to this piece of land led directly on to me setting up ‘Muddy Boots allotment playgroup’, which over the years has grown into my business.


4 of 10 of my diploma designs are around the development of the Muddy Boots business. So this design was really a turning point in my career path.

WHAT WENT WELL WITH THIS DESIGN? I enjoyed measuring the space and drawing up the design. I’ve always loved maps and art and much of my Fine Art degree show was about maps and mapping. So it was lovely for me to combine the interests of gardening, maps and art.
WHAT DID I FIND DIFFICULT WITH THIS DESIGN? I was just feeling my way with the design process, so the whole thing felt rather experimental. I was nervous showing my design to my PDC group. I found it difficult to ensure the design was implemented to a tight timescale. Some of the relationships with other’s involved in the community allotment were quite challenging to navigate.


This design was updated in 2015-16 (See design number 7 Muddy Boots garden re-design) A successful funding bid made it possible to expand the area to allow for more scope of activities and an increased number of participants to attend sessions.
WHAT ARE MY LONG TERM GOALS AND VISIONS FOR THIS DESIGN? I hope to carry on leading sessions at the community allotment for at least another few years. I’d like to be able to expand further, possibly taking over one of the poly-tunnels to provide a semi-sheltered spot, allowing me to continue sessions throughout the year rather than stopping Nov-March as had previously been the case. I’d like to have my own piece of land eventually to carry out gardening and Forest school activity.