I grew up without my own garden since my parents live in an apartment block (Singaporeans call them HDBs). This is what they usually look like. My Japanese friend, who visited Singapore for the first time, thought they looked like shoe boxes. They aren’t that tiny. Singaporeans say our HDB flats are shrinking, which is true, but every time I visit people back home I think HDBs are massive compared to German/ Japanese apartments!
But even though I didn’t have my own private garden to play in, I’ve always thought that I grew up in a garden city. We have Chinese & Japanese Gardens and now Gardens by the Bay. We’re a tiny island with a growing population. That explains why we build upwards. But we’re not entirely a concrete jungle and I think it is important for a city to still conserve nature, to have greenery for people to enjoy and relax in.
Oxford, where Dan’s from, is very different. It’s a really well conserved and beautiful city. With the world’s famous university located there and a rich history, I can understand why people will want to preserve it. Parks are everywhere and the University Park is just beautiful. Just look at its breathtaking skyline – even though I wished the Brits weren’t so obsessed with owning lands, building a skyscraper in Oxford would so ruin this city. I MUST remember to take more photos of Oxford and maybe a few cafes when we’re back this Christmas.
Frankfurt is a very unique German city as it’s the ONLY one with skyscrapers (excluding other German cities which might have built one or two here and there). Most people living in the city live in apartment blocks and hence don’t have gardens. Apart from parks (such as the Korean Garden and Chinese Garden), the Palm Gardens and the river main where locals visit to chill out, we found some garden allotments in Sachsenhausen which we thought were pretty impressive.
A huge plot of land is split up into smaller allotments where people convert into their private gardens. What’s really nice is that they usually get a pretty sheds like the one you see above to spend their summer in.
They grow not only flowers, but also their own vegetables! This reminded us of the PC game, Garden Dreams, which we were so addicted to in Tokyo. I get a great sense of satisfaction when I cook my own meals and make my own bags/ crochet my own scarf so I suppose people must enjoy eating the food they grow too.
On the weekends, families would gather at their allotments for meals. Don’t be too surprised to find people in their swimsuits getting a tan! I don’t blame them since the last winter was a terrible one. As we were walking leisurely around the allotments, I realised that people have put in a tremendous amount of effort to decorate them with gnomes. I would love to get them WHEN I have my own garden. It will be PURRRRFECT if we had Chairman Marumo Meow by then too.
This was one of the coolest allotment we saw. They’ve built a miniature village!
Check out the little donkey above which doubles as a flower pot too. That definitely brings the allotment to life!
I’m terrible at gardening so I’m learning a little about it now by planting my own flowers on the balcony. Hopefully when we have our own garden in the future, we’ll be able to make it as beautiful as the allotments we visited. These will be excellent sources of inspiration I suppose.
- Country garden: Allotments (country-days.co.uk)
- Allotment Gardens (plewspottingshed.wordpress.com)
- A Brief History of Allotments. (mucktwineandthinker.wordpress.com)