My name is Zoe and I’m a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. I mainly design books for academic publishers, but in my spare time I like to garden, mess about on my allotment, and then illustrate my adventures in a journal. My garden prints are a collaboration of all of those passions. They’re initially drawn by hand and then digitised, coloured, and printed with long-life inks on archive quality paper.
As for my allotment, my partner and I took this on in late April 2008, after moving to the city of Ely (north of Cambridge, UK) shortly before. I’d previously grown a few vegetables in pots in the garden (mainly tomatoes and lettuce) and then I acquired a couple of meter square wooden frames which I used as raised beds, cramming in as much as possible on the square foot gardening principle. But I always wanted to grow much more than I had the space for and had long thought about taking on an allotment.
I’ve always gardened organically, as I firmly believe in working with nature and not against it. As gardeners we should protect and nurture the finely balanced ecosystem that exists in our patch of earth, be it large or small, and not destroy it. Gardening should be an enjoyable, even spiritual experience, not a war. I see gardens and allotments as growing, living, natural places, which means they’re not meant to be pristine and perfect (at least mine won’t be!). One thing I’ve learnt is, you can take a certain amount of control, but no matter how hard you plan, mother nature will always have the upper hand.
The blog postings document our trials and errors in growing fruit and vegetables, pretty much since we started. Feel free to comment and pass on any queries or indeed advice! Compared to some, I’m still just a beginner when it comes to allotmenteering, but I’ll get there one day.