Monday, July 11, 2011

Community Gardens in Sweden

Since my husband is Swedish, I can't resist sharing some photos of community gardens in Sweden. Allotments or "colonies" (kolonier) are rented out as individual plots just as they are here. But Sweden is a country the size of California with about 1/4 the population of California. There's a lot of land to go around, even for those who can't afford a house with a garden.

The photo above was taken just outside a large residential co-op apartment complex. Resting on the edge of uncultivated fields as it does, with thick forests all around, gardeners struggle with (and adore) red deer like this one.

Given that outdoor produce stands (open daily) are a ten minute walk from here, some people focus only on flowers and the cultivation of peaceful, beautiful spaces (below).

But here (below), the allotments are larger, and serious fruit and vegetable growing takes center stage. Roughly 6 separate allotments are visible in this photo:

To my mind, the most notable feature of Swedish community gardens is a sense of permanence. Sheds, greenhouses, and even exquisite miniature houses (for adults) adorn many plots, while a recent article in Dagens Nyheter shows seven photos of a plot that looks professionally landscaped( ). See photo #6 especially. They really do build little houses like that. In my next post, I'll share photos of one very unique space that is elaborate but also possesses a certain DIY charm.

For now, just one more photo. Imagine getting off work, hopping on your vespa, pushing through (minimal)city traffic, and then zooming through the Swedish meadows toward your own semi-private agricultural happy hour.

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