Anne Earnshaw - Plot 16a:
The Sale Arts Trail provides the opportunity to visit artists studios, quirky and unusual display spaces; gardens, shops and cafes all exhibiting and selling the work of professional artists and makers in the Trafford area.
I have exhibited at the last two SAT’s, loved the experience and met such lovely people.
I work in my garden through the seasons as always, as I find this relaxing and I can put my artistic touches in the garden using colour, shapes and textures etc. In my art studio I have been mark making, getting used to drawing and painting again as well as working on my photography work. My inspiration mainly comes from nature and the places I love to visit.
I have just finished working on my annual project at Woodhey’s Primary School working with yr 4s teaching the children photography – my ‘Learning to See Programme’.
This year I have been studying the landscape in the Lake District as this is one of my favourite places to find inspiration. I am putting together a body of work Inspired at Tarn Hows.
My studio is at home at Carnforth Drive. It is Venue O on this year's Arts Trail. This year Catherine Mahe glass designer and Nicky Martins ceramics will be exhibiting at my house.
I was first inspired by Ansel Adams when I started my photography work whilst studying, admiring his simple and beautiful compositions in nature. As a young child I worked in more detail, it was whilst at school and college I became more interested in the Impressionist’s and Abstract painters using paint more freely and seeing shapes and patterns.
Besides working on my art I work at a well known retailers. When I can I love to play the piano, listen to classic FM and smooth FM, dancing and singing, reading a good book, gardening, our allotment and walking our dog Stanley at Dunham and Arley Hall.
When my son was 5 years old and he is now 17 years, I decided to go back to college as a mature student and studied Art Foundation at South Trafford College and studied at Salford University, Visual Arts BA (hons) . When I was a student I was studying fine art painting and then photography became my main medium. I still like to draw and paint when I can. You can see this influence in my Photography sometimes and my work can look like a painting.
Jeff - Plot 19:
Well, it's the end of an era for the grotty garage which used to stand at the bottom of the allotment. It has been there longer than anyone can remember. We have people on the allotment that have been here nearly 40 years and it was there when they arrived so I am guessing that it was about 50 years old. It all happened pretty fast, and those of you who know me well, know I don't often do fast:-) This is how it happened:
At the end of March we had a call from Trafford Council to say that they had found some money in the budget to demolish the garage. It had an asbestos roof and the walls were crumbling and so it had to go. The thing was, it had to happen before their financial year end which was the beginning of April so we had no time to lose. We arranged for the demolition people to take away the garage pretty quickly and then had to move fast with the replacement because we had the contents of the garage stored all over the place. I managed to locate a container and had it painted green. We knew that we would have to have it delivered via the cemetery as they could not get it in any other way. So, the tricky part was to coordinate with the container and cemetery people because obviously, we could not have it delivered when there were funerals going on.
Thankfully we managed to get a day that suited everyone and the container was delivered without any drama. It was lifted over the cemetery hedge with a crane and dropped into place. Then the poor driver realised that he couldn't get out of the bottom gates and had to back up all the way to Marslands Road. It was quite a feat as the track is quite narrow. All the contents are now back in the new storeroom and I hope you agree that it looks far smarter than the prefab garage did.
Paul - Plot 4:
You can't have too many onions can you? Yesterday we potted up 240 onion sets (photo on the left), 160 New Fen Globe and 80 Red Ray. Do you pot your onions first or just plant them direct? It's certainly more work to pot them first but then we find that the birds don't pull them out for fun when they are already rooted. We had such a good crop last year (photo on the right) that we thought we would do exactly the same this year. We are down to our last 3 or 4 Red Ray now, so they keep well too!
It's the first day of spring today and it really feels like it. What a lovely day. We did a bit more on the central path today and we are now almost done. We are just waiting for a bit of rain to wet the ground and we will then sow some grass seed. Hopefully all will then be lovely for the summer.
It is coming up to the busy time now so it will be brassicas next for us. We will soon be sowing in trays in the cold frame and then potting up when the first true leaves start to grow. We have already prepared the ground by walking all over it to harden the ground. This stops the plants from moving about in the wind. We have also put lots of lime down as brassicas love a limy soil. Hopefully we won't get the dreaded clubroot this year.
Paul- Plot 4:
You may of noticed that the central pathway is in need of repair after all those heavy tractors had churned it up. We started work on Saturday. It was pretty muddy after the snow and rain so we started by forking along each track to drain any excess water and also to loosen the ground. We then brushed a layer of sand in the holes. Pete Owen (plot 8a) kindly delivered some much needed top soil and grass turf for us to use. We will be filling in the biggest holes with this shortly.
Work carried on during Sunday. It was a beautiful day so it was really pleasant to work in the springlike weather. What made it more pleasant was that Fiona (plot 3) had dropped off a homemade, delicious Swiss Roll for us to share. It went down very nicely with a cup of tea. Thanks Fiona!
We are dodging the weather at this time of year so the work won't be done overnight. Please bear with us until it is finished and ready to look beautiful for the coming season. In the meantime, if you see any of us tolling away on the path, feel free to put the kettle on and make us a brew:-)
This is my first attempt at a blog. I'm not sure how to structure it but hopefully it will get better as I carry on.
My wife Jean and I work our plot together (plot 4). Its February and at this time of year there isn't a great deal to do on the plot other than digging over the ground, clearing weeds and generally getting the site prepared for the coming season. Today was all about potatoes. Last week I prepared my seed potatoes by standing them in egg boxes in the hope that they will "chit" or sprout, ready for planting. The secret is to keep them quite cool. At the moment they are in our spare bedroom with the heating off but I am not sure that Jean is too impressed by that so I may move them into the greenhouse and protect them from frost with a bit of fleece.
I am digging trenches at the moment ready for the potatoes. We are having three rows this year, early and late crops. This year we are trying Arran Pilot and Cara. We haven't grown them before so watch this space. Today I finished the third trench and put in some leaf mould from our leaf bay together with some rather smelly chicken manure pellets and Blood Fish & Bone food for good measure. Normally I would put in cow manure but this year I thought I would try something different.
The weather was cold today but it didn't stop us from doing some work. Jean was road testing her new oscillating hoe and was very impressed with it. It gets deeper than a standard hoe, and because it has blades front and back, you can use it with a forward and backward action.
The cold weather is always a good excuse to get the kettle on and so we stopped for a cuppa and a chat with the plot holders who were around. The talk soon came around to Man U's abysmal performance last night in the European League in Denmark. The least said about that, the better.
I finished with a quick trip to the tip with a few buckets of debris and the plot is now looking pretty clear. All in all, we put in 2 hours work (including the tea) so it was a fairly useful morning.
Plot holders cogitate and ruminate about allotment life.
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