Move forward 150+ years and you're zipping along in an ICE high-speed train, munching happily away on your bratwurst , just as you're wiping the last blob of mustard from the corner of your mouth, a lazy glance out the window, though, comes as a shock. Rather than the well-ordered suburbs or well-kept factories you have come to expect- miniature houses tucked in next to the train tracks as far as the eye can see.
It's a sight that greets visitors on the approach to almost every town in Germany -- the clutter of ladders and rakes leaning against the back of the structures, neatly ordered flowerbeds, well-tended fruit trees and picture-perfect picket fences are lined up like regiments of tin soldiers. The phenomenon is known as a Schrebergärten -- an area outside the city where the gardening-obsessed Germans can rent out a small plot and plunge their fingers into the soil.
But while getting back to nature is an instinct many of us indulge in, the German gardener takes it very seriously indeed. Flawlessly clipped lawns, neatly sculpted bushes, and flowerbeds entirely free of even the tiniest weed are the norm with many gardens revealing a feng shui exactness that would put a Japanese bonsai master to shame. Other vegetation virtuosos prefer a more playful perfection and opt for a liberal distribution of garden gnomes and plastic windmills with cheap replicas of Greek fountains and other water features a must for those with a bit of cash to burn.
Ordered, trimmed, enclosed, ornamental, each strip has some kind of glorified shed with floral and vegetable displays. As for people, they’re only temporary visitors, because however fabulous the summerhouse/cottage/shed – and some are very fancy –one of the many hundreds of rules is that a Schrebergärten is strictly non-residential and rules are there to be obeyed. These enclosures are the garden equivalent of white bread: nature with the wildness extracted – and with more fertilizer per square metre than any farmer would dare to use.
The potting shed
I like creating Schrebergärten, a few year ago I created a 1:76 vegetable garden, the only differences in 1:45 are the size and cost of the plants - these are from JTT. The set includes strawberries, green and red cabbage, cauliflower, green and red lettuce.