{Garden Life} Guerrilla gardening in Berlin

garden link up

Earlier this week, we were on an exploratory trip to Berlin. Monday through Wednesday, we were hunting for our new apartment (and found one we adore) and looking into the areas we could end up living. The apartment we like does have a small balcony which we’ll likely fill up with herbs and a few tomato plants. I might even manage to get the jean butts up there.

But something which seems to be extremely popular in Berlin is guerilla gardening within the tiny spaces between your front door and the street. And I love it!

Just down the street from us, one of the nearby tenants has put up a small fence (so people can’t park their bike in there) and created a little garden of wild strawberries and flowers. While I’m not certain I would actually be brave enough to eat something which was just growing out in the open to be tampered with by everyone, I love the idea of turning these otherwise dead, brown spaces into thriving green areas.

guerrilla gardening berlin

Most of the spaces we saw only had some sort of flowers growing in them, but a few of them herbs as well. And I also saw many a balcony loaded up with tomato plants, strawberries and the like. So all of this is extremely encouraging for our upcoming move. I even have a few ideas of place we may be able to invade to grow some actual edibles – with or without the permission of others.  :)

In fact, there is a courtyard garden that our new apartment overlooks which I have to wonder about. It would be perfect for a family plot….the question is really just how one goes about gaining access to it.

I can already tell that although gardening takes on a rather different form in Berlin, it’s going to be quite adventurous and a lot of fun.

A few other Berliners have started an initiative called Gemüsekorb (“vegetable basket”) to use abandoned shopping carts as mobile gardens. They’ve planted everything from flowers to tomatoes to potatoes in them — and they can be wheeled around from time to time so they don’t become a nuisance or get reported. Yes, one major risk with guerrilla gardening is that your stuff will get stolen — but I guess that’s all just part of the game. Last year, a course on how to set up your own baskets was run and everyone got to take home a basket with them. Pretty slick really.

guerrilla gardening berlin

In Templehof, you can visit the gardens in Schillerkiez which are set up at the old Templehof airport which was closed several years ago.

In Kreuzberg, check out the community garden, Garden Rosa Rose. Or the 6,000 sq meter Prinzessingarten (Princess Garden), built entirely in crates so that it can be moved on short notice — since the lease is on a year-to-year basis.

Want to join in the garden fun and link to your own blog or images online? You can share about anything related to gardening, old or new posts, from recipes to harvesting to grow reports to DIY projects or inspiration.

Here’s how this works:

PLEASE READ THESE GUIDELINESespecially if you have never linked up before!

  • You are free to join the Garden Life link up at any time. You can also skip a few weeks and then come back. It’s entirely up to you.
  • Please link directly to a post about your garden, a recipe, a tutorial for gardening, an inspirational idea, etc that relates to GARDENING — not your main blog URL.
  • Please only link to your own blog or photos hosted online.
  • You MUST link back to No Ordinary Homestead or a Garden Life link up post in your blog post. This way, if someone else wants to join the fun, they can. You can either link with text or using the Garden Life badge.
    Below is a code for the badge above. Just copy and paste this code into your post or save and upload the image to your blog:
    <a href=”http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/garden-life-link-up/“><img title=”garden-life-300″ src=”http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/garden-life-300.gif” alt=”garden link up” width=”301″ height=”301″ /></a>
  • I highly encourage you to visit other participants and leave comments. This is a great way to meet new friends and become inspired about your garden! I try to visit all the blogs participating as well :)

That’s it! Share your garden with us by linking up below!


  1. Congrats on finding an apartment! I can’t wait to see pictures!! :-) And see what your new garden will look like as well. I haven’t posted about our garden in a while, but we’ve been eating fresh strawberries, raspberries, and tomatoes, our Brussels sprouts are going CRAZY, and I’m using more fresh herbs than I ever have (basil, sage, and parsley), and they much a difference in recipes. No more dried for me (if I can help it)! :-) By the way, I keep meaning to send you an email – if you’re still looking for a guest post, let me know.

  2. I love those shopping carts-turned-portable gardens! So glad you’ve found a place where you won’t have to give up gardening. But with that courtyard you’re trying to figure out how to access? I now have an image of you abseiling down the side of your building, dressed all in black, to do Ninja Gardening!

  3. Allison Lichtenberg says:

    They do this in Chicago too! We have a community garden that is part of the school across the street. We aren’t participating but it looks beautiful and it’s a peaceful spot! We can pick the bush berries. I had a yummy raspberry this week.

    The portable gardens are really interesting.

    • I think community gardens are a fantastic idea — and it’s a great way to use up otherwise dead and unfriendly looking spaces.

      Berlin is not really one of those cities that has a lot of pretty green areas. There are trees in a lot of the areas, but for the most part, they don’t go to a ton of trouble to do landscaping or anything like that. So I think that is also part of the reason why people do some of these guerrilla gardening practices in the little plots of dirt in front of their door. Otherwise they tend to just be bare dirt or weeds, which isn’t so nice to look at year round!

  4. That really sounds interesting.  I guess if your balcony gets lots of sun, you can even hang containers on the wall…I saw something once on Pinterest…but I cannot remember what they used as containers now?  I should’ve pinned it!  BTW, I nominated (and awarded you) the Versatile Blogger Award…thought it would be fun http://lifelessonsmilitarywife.com/?p=2810.


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