The Schrebergarten Page

What's a Schrebergarten? Also called Kleingarten or a variety of other names, the name Schrebergarten comes from Dr. Daniel Gottlob Moritz Schreber, who advocated the development of garden parcels for workers living in cramped city conditions. In the mid-1800s, he helped to develop the first parcels in Leipzig.

While small allotment gardens flourish throughout Europe, the German variety is unique in its very German-ness. Orderly to the point of obsessiveness, the communities are governed by long lists or rules. While each collective has its own set of rules, the regulations include everything from the size of the cottage, satellite dishes, what types of plants may and may not be cultivated, and how often the paths in front of the gardens must be raked or mown.

German-speakers are welcome to read more about the history of Schrebergartens on Wikipedia at

Happy Easter!

It's Easter Weekend 2009, and the weather has been unusually warm and sunny for the past few weeks - so, all the Schrebergartners have been out, sprucing up their gardens ready for Easter. Here are some photos I took today of various Easter gardens in Buchholz.

<The winner of the "Most Decked-Out Easter Garden" award (as selected by me)

>Bunnies, bunnies everywhere

<A bush full of hanging Easter Eggs

>Hyacinths and heather

<Cherry tree

>and egg tree. My great grandmother always used to have an egg tree on her porch, I never realized it was a German thing...


>Gnome family

More About Schrebergarten....

A Schrebergarten plot usually includes a small cottage or shack - while the cottages usually have electricity and running water, there are strict rules against living full-time in the cottages. Typical gardens, set with orderly rows of vegetables in the spring.
Rules often include the percentage of garden which must be grass or flowerbeds. An ambitious flowerbed in Buccholz.
Cottages come in all shapes and sizes - this one even has an upstairs.  


So far as I know, there is no regulation saying garden owners must have a gnome. While not every garden has a gnome, the gnome-lovers are by far the majority. The little men (and women, and other creatures) pop up in the strangest arrays, and are as much a part of the Schrebergarten phenomenon as the gardeners themselves.

A full gnome collection Gnome power  
Grandma and Grandpa Gnome A really evil-looking Little Red Riding Hood
Singing gnome, complete with accordion Animal farm
  Evil gnome  
Gnomes in cage The German version of the lantern jockey


Nestled in between a giant train container loading station and an IKEA, the Kleingarten Kolonie Moorfleet Verein Number 604 has 145 plots of little houses and flowers. Like many colonies, some of the houses seem to be sturdy enough to be actual residences. In the aftermath of World War II, when the cities lay in ruins, many people lived full-time in their gardens, and the houses still remain from that time. This garden colony is 3 subway stops from the Hamburg main train station.

I visited on a quiet Tuesday morning in early June, but still many older people were there tending their flowers and working hard to bring nature into order.

All paths lead to IKEA. The map of all garden plots, posted at the entrance to the community.
A well-trained rosebush provides an archway over the entrance to this garden.  
Well-ordered firewood Werner's Oasis



OK, wandering through all these gardens, I had to photograph all these gorgeous flowers. Here's a selection.

Take me home