Andrea and Dave – Plot 17

We both love being part of the community at ARDAA. 

Our allotment gives us a place of tranquillity and peace from a hectic life.

We love doing things together and so this is ideal.

It also fits for us because we live on a plant based diet and we live literally round the corner on Cowley Street.

Most of all we love the sense of community.

Hannah - Plot 15A

I have an allotment because it means having my own outdoor space to play in!

My favourite memories so far of this plot are: replacing the shed roof with my friend Heather in glorious sunshine; picking my first successful crop onions and garlic; working alongside my neighbours who are so kind and generous; and lastly the feeling I get when I see things I've grown from seed bear fruit. 

I love using natural materials where I can and am inspired by Alys Fowler and Ray Mears! 

I'd really like to get a greenhouse for next year and plant a hazel tree (or two!) to coppice in the years to come. The biggest veg growing success so far has to be growing florence fennel bulbs - they're beautiful and delicious! 


So we got allotment because me and my husband are dreaming one day to have countryside life, where we can have our own big garden through working hard. So our allotment is, for us, an escape from town. 

Personally, I grew up in the countryside and this allotment site is friendly and has a helpful community -it just reminds me of home. 

We want our kids to be involved and understand that it is hard work but we want to create something nice. We are so happy and thankful that we got one!

Sandra and Dave - Plot 45a

It was David’s idea for us to have an allotment after helping at the Markeaton Open day.

We now have more time to try something new after several years caravanning. This is our next ‘faze’.

Everyone has been so supportive and welcoming and giving of their expertise and excess produce!   The amazement of actually picking something you have planted as a tiny seed is so rewarding.

We love being in the fresh air, even if it is raining!


Jackie – Plot 41

I have had the allotment for approximately 18 years. Me and my husband David took it on following a visit to the Annual Show one year.

Unfortunately, my husband died 5 ½ years ago but I decided to keep the plot on. There is a lot of David here as he made the raised beds and shed out of scrap materials. I am trying to continue this when things need replacing.

The allotment is a place where I feel happy and close to David. It is so peaceful when you come here and I get great satisfaction growing my own vegetables and fruit. 

I hope to keep my allotment for many years to come.

Oh! And by the way - I am not on my own when I come here  - I have my trusted friend Teddy!


Dave and Lesley - Plot 50b


“Having retired from the RAF, I needed something to fill my time and something to rebuild my recovery from a serious illness. Allied to this, it gave me the opportunity to grow my veggies, fruit and the like, plus gave me the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends”.



Whilst not in my top 10 of things to do back in January 2015, Dave took over plot 50b. 

It took a while for me to get involved, but now I cook lunch down here, sit in a deck chair, read, chat a lot and have the odd glass of wine and plant a bit of what takes my fancy. All at the same time as getting a nice sun tan.

....whats not to like”?! 

Dave - Plot 129

“It's a suburban sanctuary from the day to day rat race. A friendly plot of land to retreat to on sunny (and damp) evenings.  An opportunity to grow (and eat!) vegetables you can't buy from your local shop; from crookneck squash to asparagus kale.  As well as the children get a chance to muck about in mud and subtlety learn the fork to plate ethos, whilst meeting new friends along the way”.

Elaine……… and Bill - Plot 35

So where to start? For as long as I could remember Dad always had an allotment. He had to - with 7 kids, he had to feed us somehow! So, whilst Dad grew for the family, mum hoed as the kids dragged watering cans up and down the garden path to the allotments at the back of the garden. Those were the days - when the summer was always hot and the sun shone every day (it seemed).

The lifelong lessons stayed embedded and about 7 years ago, one of my sisters took on a plot in Derby city, though as her work grew, she asked me to help her on her plot and I did. As her work took over her life, I took over her plot and settled into allotmenting and Bill became the ‘allotment widower’.

As my journey to that plot got longer in the traffic, I decided to move sites and on the 19th February 2016, I had the tour of the plots here at ARDAA. A day not to forget and one that Bill will requote! He thought I was bonkers but I saw the potential of the plot and knew we would be happy on the site. In the following 3 months, we pulled in favours from family and friends and never looked back.

A relaxing pastime with a fruitful ending and a happy one too – Bill and I work now plot together and as they say… happily ever after…..(after, that is, I have told him what to do of course)!


Sue and Trevor - Plot 80

The reason I decided to have an allotment was years ago as I sat in the endless queues of traffic as I made my way to teach the Derby folk at Wilmorton College.  Every morning I saw this elderly gentleman, probably the age I am now, so a mere youngster, pushing his wheelbarrow on his way to the allotment and thought you know what one day that's what I'm going to do, I have always loved gardening and he looked so relaxed and I thought how wonderful.

So, as it got closer to my retirement I got in touch with several allotments and had my name put down and 18 months later I got a call to say one had become vacant.  We, you notice I now say WE, went down and when we saw the plot Trevor said OMG, half had not been cultivated for 12 years and the brambles were over 6 feet tall, we discovered an apple tree totally hidden with brambles several weeks later.  We took the plot as I was so excited and set to and 5 years later we are still at Plot 80 which has been transformed but love it.

An allotment is not just about growing things but you meet lots of wonderful people, have a laugh, share ideas and problems, etc.  It has certainly been our bolt hole on many occasions over the last few years.  

You arrive there with the weight of the world on your shoulders and leave a different person!!!  It is so quiet and peaceful, the birds are singing, your produce is growing and weeding is the best!!!