garden away from house [allotment / garden plot]

KennyHun

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hello there fellow forum dwellers,

I know Americans often have a front yard and a back yard attached to their homes (if indeed it's a family home in suburbia and not an apartment downtown or another type ouf housing unit) and that a garden is usually an area within the backyard with a smaller plot of vegetables for instance.
But - and I don't know whether this is at all common in the US - if you have a separate plot of land somewhere else used for growing vegetables and/or fruits, would you/could you refer to this as a 'garden' ?(My grandparents have one of these a few miles from where they live, there is a relatively large plot of land on the outskirts of town parcelled up, with the separate parcels, only a few hundred square feet each, sold to separate owners.)

Thanks! :)
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    We rented one of those when I was fairly young ... fortunately, not for very long. :p

    I think we called it a garden plot.
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hi KennyHun

    Just to say - in BrE we would call your grandparents' parcel of land an allotment:
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    allotment /əˈlɒtmənt/n
    1. the act of allotting; apportionment
    2. a portion or amount allotted
    3. BRIT a small piece of usually public land rented by an individual for cultivation
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    This extensive thread Garden or yard?
    deals with the title of this thread (even has pictures:)) but I just realized the issue here is the name for an allotment, and it's been answered. I'll leave the link if people are interested in the general AE/BE discussion of the title;)
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    We rented one of those when I was fairly young ... fortunately, not for very long. :p

    I think we called it a garden plot.
    We did that for a few years whilst living in a rental. (Now we're buying our own home and can have a garden in the back yard.) We just called it the garden.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    We did that for a few years whilst living in a rental. (Now we're buying our own home and can have a garden in the back yard.) We just called it the garden.
    Yes, I would call it a garden on my own property. If I wanted to be specific, and distinguish it from the flowerbeds, I would call it a vegetable garden.
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Within your own front or back garden, you can certainly have a vegetable garden, vegetable plot or a vegetable patch. (I think that's correct for BrE.)
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Hi KennyHun

    Just to say - in BrE we would call your grandparents' parcel of land an allotment:
    Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

    allotment /əˈlɒtmənt/n
    1. the act of allotting; apportionment
    2. a portion or amount allotted
    3. BRIT a small piece of usually public land rented by an individual for cultivation
    I would like to know if an allotment is always rented in BrE. Can you buy one and still call it 'an allotment'? All the dictionary definitions I've found include the idea of renting, as opposed to owning a piece of land.

    Thank you in advance :).
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Interesting question, Li'l Bull!

    I'd say that the concept of "being granted something by another person" is inherent in the words allot and allotment.

    So yes, I would expect an allotment (in the "piece of land" sense) always to be rented.


     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I'm sure that an 'allotment' is rented from the community, the local authority. The land is not owned by the individual. If the rent is not paid or the land is not cultivated, the 'holder' loses their right to it.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    In AE, it doesn't matter where it is located, who owns it or rents it, how it is allocated, etc. There are words for all those things too. But the word "garden" in AE means "an area of dirt, where flowers or vegetables are grown".

    In AE, most people call land adjacent to their home a "yard". If it is growing grass, it is a "lawn". Sometimes a portion of the yard is a garden, and another portion is lawn.

    I've heard some people (BE, I think) call a yard (land next to a home) a "garden".
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Doji, we're talking in this thread about a piece of land that isn't "adjacent to the home".:)
     

    Li'l Bull

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    Doji, we're talking in this thread about a piece of land that isn't "adjacent to the home".:)
    Thank you, Loob. Therefore, what do you call (in BrE) "a piece of land that isn't adjacent to the home" and that is owned, not rented? Maybe "kitchen garden" / "vegetable garden"?

    By the way, if the piece of land has both vegetables and fruit trees, is it still a vegetable garden? Is there an expression for that?
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    What do you call (in BrE) "a piece of land that isn't adjacent to the home" and that is owned, not rented? Maybe "kitchen garden" / "vegetable garden"?
    A plot. Usually with a descriptive adjective or phrase:
    "He's got a vegetable plot in the far corner of the field where he keeps the sheep."
    "His wife grows herbs in a plot about 100 yards from his house."

    If it is somewhat bigger than normal, it might be called "a patch of land". (After this, it becomes a field.)
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    In Canada we also have community gardens. They are usually run by a nonprofit society club. Since empty land is rare in the city the club needs to negotiate for space in a park or on land awaiting development.

    These are a fairly new development since the city began tearing down detached houses with yards and building more apartments and condominiums.

    Most people who live in a detached house with a yard would do their gardening there.

    Britain has historically had more row housing with minimal garden space, even quite small towns might have row housing built for industrial or mine workers in the 19th century. Also allotment gardening was encouraged during World War 2 and the years of rationing that followed it.

    Local government has never supported or promoted community gardens in Canada. They are all nonprofit initiatives.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Although it apparently exists in the U.S., I have never seen it first hand. And I can't imagine anyone being able to purchase a piece of land that small.

    We have community gardens, too, but my impression is they are not divided up by individuals but rather worked together as a group. I could be mistaken, though.

    I just don't think it's anything very common or traditional here. It's a huge country and land is not that hard to come by to drive the need for micro purchases like that. Maybe it will change with increasing urbanization but I'd say it's still a largely foreign concept that most people have never heard of or participated in and wouldn't have a name for.
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    They are common in our large Canadian city. The land is generally owned by the city, managed by the club, and plots given out to members.

    These are most attractive to people living in apartments who want to grow organic food, to involve their children in growing things, or who are retired and want a hobby.

    You would be unlikely to make much of a dent in your food bill over shopping in regular greengrocers.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I looked on the website of the relatively large community garden relatively near my house and it says it has 24 plots for rent. Oddly enough, it does not say how big they are.
     

    Fredziu

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Yes, that is a typical use: A plot of land; a building plot; grass plot; front-yard plot, etc.
    Thank you very much, Paul!
    I'd like to ask just one more question: if it was a plot used for recreational purposes, could it be called a recreation plot?
     

    Ponyprof

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    A garden plot in this kind of set up is far too small for any kind of recreation. 20 by 20 feet would be huge for a single community garden plot here

    We do refer to plots of land when mapping raw uncleared bush but as soon as they are surveyed we tend to call them "lots" here.

    We bought a 3 acre lot as a recreational property. We are going to build a cabin there but it doesn't have electricity yet.

    Usually we talk about a recreational property not lot or plot here. A recreational property might just be a very small lot with a vacation home (or room to park an RV or house traiker,) and the actual recreation might take place off the property in an adjoining park or wilderness area.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Note that "lot" is mainly north American. From the Collins entry:
    chiefly US Canadian an area of land: a parking lot
    US Canadian a piece of land with fixed boundaries
    Perhaps some UK residents can chime in but I found descriptions of houses for sale in the UK as being on "plots".
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Advertisements in the U.S. would call any piece of land intended for a house "a lot".

    "Prime lake lots available"

    They are selling parcels of land next to a lake for people to build vacation (or permanent) homes on.

    In the city they might call them home lots or just lots.

    A piece of land without a house or other building on it where one might be expected is called an empty lot or a vacant lot.

    LOTFLIP
    LOTFLIP: Lots for Sale, Small Land Parcels, Cheap Lots for Sale

    The smallest one advertised on the front page is almost an acre (0.86) = 0.35 hectares
     
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