Wednesday, 26 May 2010


I handed my dissertation proposal in at college this week. This seems a little odd given that I've been thinking about, planning and researching this project for about a year. It isn't the first proposal I've written but it now has to be in for assessment and my ideas have developed since the first attempt I made.

Because I've done my degree part time so far I've been able to give some time during this relatively quiet year (I did all the practical part of stage 2 last year) to the dissertation, which forms part of stage 3's assessment.
So I'm getting ahead of myself in preparation for doing my final year full time starting in September.

All this thinking about and visiting gardens forms the background to looking at 'gardening as an outlet for creativity'. I will be visiting some gardens of artists and that is where the meat of it will be - looking at how artists use their gardens and how their artistic practice might influence their gardening.

Last week I visited the allotment of a friend and we had fun walking round looking at the different allotmenting styles and trying to figure out if there was a link between the way people approach gardening on their allotments and what they do as a day job.

There was definitely a bit of a male/female thing going on with 'the old boys' keeping very tight ships, everything in rows, not a weed in sight, highly organised and controlled.

Then there were the more experimental (usually younger plot owners) who were happy to mix it up a bit, allow a few self seeded things here and there.

Of course there was the wonderful resourcefulness of the allotment-er in evidence with things collected from where ever they were available and no longer needed and put to good use as supports or containers.
This lot was awaiting deployment, although some of the items seemed to have things growing in them already.

We noticed that some people approach their allotment as a whole garden, dividing it up in a 'designed' way and having sections that are definitely arranged to be aesthetically pleasing rather than it all being about maximising production.

One thing that was obvious is that allotments provide a lot of pleasure for their owners, as well as satisfaction and some lovely food!

Current listening: Benjamin Britten: A Ceremony of Carols - not exactly seasonal but lovely all the same.

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