Gardening goes guerilla in Berlin | Global Ideas | DW | 11.07.2012
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Global Ideas

Gardening goes guerilla in Berlin

Once a wasteland in the shadow of the Berlin Wall, a plot of land in the middle of Berlin has been revitalized and converted into an urban mobile garden called “Prinzessinnengarten.” Check out our audio slide show.

A view of the Prinzessinengarten

A green oasis in the middle of Berlin

A historian, bar owner, photographer, amateur gardener and assistant beekeeper – Marco Clausen is a man of many skills. In 2009, his colorful biography took another unexpected turn when he came upon an abandoned plot of land at Moritzplatz, a former motorway junction in Berlin’s scruffy Kreuzberg district.

Clausen joined forces with Robert Shaw, a filmmaker, to sow the seeds of a guerilla gardening project in the midst of derelict yards and social housing projects. The two, along with a group of helpers, cleared the site of rubbish and industrial waste. In its place came plants and vegetables planted in everything from crates, plastic bags to milk cartons, lending the project a mobile feel. The garden called “Prinzessinengarten” or “princess garden” is designed to be moved around.

Thanks to help from a growing community of gardeners and enthusiasts, Prinzessengarten has grown into a creative gardening lab and gained fame in Germany.

The space is open to the public. People can drop in, help with the gardening and beekeeping, learn about biodiversity and urban agriculture, sample the delicacies in the cafe prepared by amateur chefs with fresh produce from the garden or just hang out and enjoy the green oasis in the middle of the city.

The media too can’t seem to get enough of the unconventional urban gardening project. Over 300 articles have already appeared on the unconventional green space the size of a soccer pitch.

Global Ideas visited Prinzessingarten, spoke with the brains behind it and soaked in the relaxed atmosphere. Take a tour of the place in our special audio slide show.

Picture gallery: Kerstin Schnatz
Photos: Axel Warnstedt

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