The life of a Spalding allotment holder – and artist

Tea break: Allotment holder Carol Parker enjoys Sundays at the allotment plot, where she shares tea and cake  with new pals Trudy, Linda and Wendy.
Tea break: Allotment holder Carol Parker enjoys Sundays at the allotment plot, where she shares tea and cake with new pals Trudy, Linda and Wendy.
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Freelance mixed media artist and allotment holder Carol Parker writes about life on her plot.

First comes the apology. I hold my hands up to the non-appearance of my allotment column last month, which was due to diary chaos!

I will try and get two months’ worth into this one.

I’ve already fessed up to my love for beans so it will come as no surprise that my plot is now full of them: runners, broad, French climbing and dwarf – although I got the pots confused and may have staked the wrong ones!

Peas also have a large presence, edible varieties as well as floral, all supported by a sea of bamboo canes. I love canes; they provide order and a promise of what’s to come, hopefully.

I’ve managed to keep on top of the weeding by going to the allotment on a regular basis. I haven’t been able to go every Sunday, but a treat awaits when I can – tea and cake break with new pals Trudy, Linda and Wendy (pictured above).

I upcycle and recycle skip finds for containers and fencing, such as an old bath for tomatoes and peppers.

I also use the allotment shed as my artist studio and gallery space.

The Visible Mending exhibition is now touring and was at the National Centre for Craft & Design, Sleaford, on May 24.

The latest exhibition at The Shed was ‘10 Poles’ (the measurement of an allotment). It’s a collection of photographs celebrating allotments, growing and growers by four artists from Edinburgh, Kettering and Spalding.

If you missed it at The Shed, it’s possible to check out the images on Pinterest at http://www.pinterest.com/yarnbombing/10-poles

Allotment plots differ greatly between places but also between cultures.

My Polish allotment neighbours have created a fantastic growing area using very different techniques to mine. Instead of a compost heap they’ve buried the weeds – how sensible is that?!

They’ve also trodden down pathways between crops to create naturally raised beds –I think they should have been on The Big Allotment Challenge!

You can find out more about my allotment here: http://theshed1.wordpress.com/

And more about my art practice here: http://artonthehighstreet.wordpress.com/

And here: http://artrovings.wordpress.com/