Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Berlin Love: Pop-up Gardens

The only thing that makes strolls around your neighborhood or city even more enjoyable than usual on a warm summer day is finding unexpected beauty in mundane places. In our bezirk - Prenzlauer Berg - my favorite things to look at on a run or walk are the mini-, as I call them, pop-up gardens that come to life each spring in the most unexpected of places.

I especially enjoy it when you can tell that somebody took the time and effort to pick out the flowers and carefully arrange them in what would have otherwise been a boring pile of dirt.

Crawling vines bring their own cool factor to a blah facade. This one makes me want to put on a pretty dress and sing and dance on top of that bench.

That flower is somehow magically growing from the side of the tree. Awesome, much?

Obviously, the more colorful, the better, in my opinion.

This is one of my favorites. It's on my walk to the subway and every time I pass it, I stop to check out the status of their tomato plants. Look how wild and free they are! 

The tomatoes are at about the same stage as ours, which I hope means we did something right this year. The best part about this wee garden is that it's planted right outside a super dark and dingy dive bar. I like to think that the owners talk and sing to their plants while drunkenly closing down the bar each night (they tend to be their own best customers, we've noticed). Or is that just how I would roll...?

And finally, while the dive bar tomatoes are fab, these ones just totally rock my socks right off. A cute, young girl recently moved into the ground floor apartment in our building that opens into the courtyard. And she promptly made it her own, planting some colorful flowers and two little tomato plants in the public space. She even set up her own grill in there (up against the wall on the left in the picture above) and often throws grill parties for her friends in her urban backyard. She is officially high up on my awesome-people-I-wish-knew-better list.

I love that these guys greet me each evening when I get home and park my bike in the courtyard.

Are there pop-up gardens in your city? And if not, ever thought of planting one yourself? I'm highly considering doing so outside our building next spring...

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