Kitsch at Westkreuz

Today, I am really honored to post a kitschy photo that has been sent directly to the be kitschig blog inbox! Suburban Tracks is a great blog that doesn’t shy away from politics and will certainly teach you a thing or two.

Be kitschig is a small blog and I am really humbled, that someone actually thinks of this blog while taking a walk (and then even sends me the photo)! So thank you for making my day! I really appreciate it.

If you like good writing and have not heard about the Crooked Wood in Poland or have no clue what aliens are doing against climate change, make sure to check out this fabulous blog!

So, here it is

Drum Roll ….………..

Garden gnome in luscious green

gartenzwerg garden gnome berlin westkreus be kitschig blog
garden gnome smoking a pipe

This garden gnome is rather lovely because it is so traditional. If you are keen to share your own kitschy odd photos, please let me know and I will post it on a Friday.

On Allotment Gardens

Growing up in the former GDR, the allotment garden, Kleingarten, was a normal part of my life, including a lot of coffee and cake. Somehow later it turned into a flagship for people being rather square. As a kid, the garden had asparagus and all sorts of greens, over the years, the useful plots turned mostly into lawn. Especially behind the Iron Curtain those yards must have certainly doubled up as super surveillance space. (Some neighbours in our plot were actually nicknamed Gartenstasi.)

Now, surprisingly, the allotment garden is not a German phenomenon. You will find allotments in Belgium, Sweden or Slovakia. The first allotments were established at the turn of last century in Europe to enable poorer people to grow their own food. These gardens were founded by factory owners, railway companies, the Red Cross, welfare organizations or philanthropists.

(The fact that factory owners cared about their employees so much that they wished to actually improve the quality of their lives should not baffle me. The baby boomers should really stop messing with reality.)

These allotments were also seen as a learning place for children as a means to experience nature and see it grow, as well as to provide some healthy workout for young and old.

Over the course of time, they are also providing social contacts for the elderly and just in recent years, allotment gardens have become very popular amongst families with young children. They are also playing an important part for wildlife & insects in bigger cities.

The social and ecological factors of allotment gardens cannot be underestimated. In the Philippines and parts of Africa, first projects have been launched to use the plots as a tool of development aid. (source)

Now, all the positives aside, yes, there is a German allotment garden law. It has a really pretty name, too. You can find the Bundeskleingartengesetz (BKleingG) in German by clicking here.

This regulates general terms like the size of your shed or the fact that you are not allowed to actually live there. On top of that, most allotments are organized as clubs, which means they get to set their own rules. A lot of them.

Renting an allotment will come with requirements, like how many fruit trees and bushes you have to plant all the way down to how many flower beds or how much lawn is allowed. See, the agricultural area cannot outdo the relaxation area, obviously.

In case you ever find yourself in a German allotment, make sure to not step on the raked sand. While you may see a path, your proper German will see sand just lying around unorganized. Sand needs to be raked properly. At least once a day.

Sorry, I got side-tracked. Please make sure to check out Suburban Tracks.

9 thoughts on “Kitsch at Westkreuz

  1. GartenStasi?! OMG. So the garden gnomes, so present all across Europe are in fact reincarnation of GartenStasi? 🙂

      1. Fair enough! It get’s worse when you take them inside in winter so they don’t get to cold. You know they come to life at night …

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