The 68-year-old Preston grandmother built a greenhouse using plastic bottles for her university art project.
Linda, who's from Penwortham, created self-watering eco-friendly greenhouse for her final MA Fine Art project at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan.)
She used over 1400 plastic bottles collected by friends at her local Penwortham allotment, a wooden frame and fencing wire to create the greenhouse.
Linda has grown beans, tomatoes, courgettes, onions and sweet corn over the last 11 months in the plastic bottle structure as well as supplying her fellow allotment owners with seedlings for their own plots.
Linda has been a keen gardener for years and thought the innovative greenhouse was a great way to incorporate art into a local community venture that was also in keeping with the ethos of an allotment.
She commented: “My aim was to create a community project that was also eco-friendly. On an allotment there is a real sense of sharing and re-using everything so nothing goes to waste and I think the greenhouse reflects this approach.
“So many people have helped by collecting plastic bottles to build it and the greenhouse seems to have sparked quite a bit of interest from passers-by.”
Linda’s project began when she completed an undergraduate degree in fine art at UCLan in 2009 and decided to go on and complete a Masters in the subject. Linda spent her career a primary school teacher for 18 years and then taught art at Lytham St Annes College before retiring and deciding to go back into education.
She has always been a keen sketcher and painter and has even decorated her allotment’s watering can and wheelbarrow with her drawings.
The artist said: “I initially worried that people would think I was too old to go to University but everyone here accepts you for who you are and it’s made me realise I can do much more than I thought with my retirement. I feel like it’s stretched my mind.”
Linda’s plastic bottle greenhouse has stood in her Penthwortham allotment since October 2010 and has managed to survive strong winds and a harsh winter.
“Even though we had an extremely cold winter, all I’ve had to repair is a few of the bottles. They are incredibly cheap to make compared to glass greenhouses and I’m hoping mine with have around a five year lifespan” she said.
Now she has completed her University education Linda plans to continue her gardening project and has considered holding demonstrations and workshops to get more people involved in growing their own vegetables in similar structures.