Allotment garden

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Allotment garden

The allotment garden , also allotment garden , home garden , family garden (especially in Switzerland), in South German and Swiss also Bünt, Pünt or Beunde , in East German Datsche or more generally as parcel or arbor , refers to a fenced piece of land as a garden .

In particular, it is located in a system of properties that are managed by associations (allotment gardening associations, sometimes garden division ) and the area or garden is leased to the members at low cost. Such plants are also known as garden colonies or arbor colonies .

Laubenpieper is a (joking) name for the owner of an allotment garden (with a gazebo ), whereby the property used is often called an arbor in the figurative sense .

Allotments as recreational areas

Allotment gardens are intended for recreation in nature and enable city ​​dwellers to grow fruit and vegetables based on the example of old cottage gardens . Ornamental plants and lawns can also be found in these gardens , especially when relaxation is the focus.

Usually there is an arbor on every piece of property in a garden. Allotment garden life is regulated by the respective allotment garden regulations / statutes / statutes of each association. In Germany, the coming federal allotment law (BKleingG) added, in Austria the Garden Law , in Switzerland it is cantonal regulated, for example in building codes .

Social functions of allotments

The Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux , an association of over three million European allotment gardeners that has existed since 1926, describes the social functions of allotment gardens.

  • The allotment gardens offer the general public a better quality of life in cities through noise reduction, dust binding, greening, loosening up of buildings, biotope and species protection, habitat networking and climatic effects.
  • The allotment gardens offer families a meaningful leisure activity; horticulture and the inexpensive growing of healthy vegetables; the personal experience of sowing, growing, thriving and harvesting healthy vegetables; a counterweight to life in concrete castles and on asphalt surfaces; Promoting harmonious interpersonal relationships; direct contact with nature.
  • The allotment gardens compensate children and young people for the lack of playgrounds; a playing and communication field; Experience spaces in nature and perception of their natural connections; Object lesson in biology.
  • Professionals offer the allotments a relaxation from work stress through healthy activity; an ideal alternative to everyday work.
  • The allotment gardens offer the unemployed the feeling of being needed and still belonging; a means of avoiding idleness ; a subsidy of fresh vegetables at a minimum price.
  • The allotment gardens offer immigrants an opportunity to make contacts and to integrate better in the host country (see also “ Intercultural Gardens ”). In Germany, 7.5 percent of allotment gardeners, that is 75,000 allotment gardener families, have a migration background.
  • The allotment gardens offer handicapped people a place where they can take part in club life, make contacts and thus escape isolation; the experience of sowing and planting, of growing, flourishing and harvesting.
  • The allotment gardens offer seniors a place of conversation and calm by bringing together people with the same interests; contacts grown over years; individual self-realization and occupation in the 3rd phase of life in your own garden.

In the allotment gardens organized as associations, there is often a building accessible to all association members, which is called the clubhouse, community house or in Austria also a shelter house. It mostly serves the club meetings and has general tools ready. Often a small inn is housed in it, which is sometimes accessible to strangers.

The social and ecological functions of European allotment gardening are meanwhile also being incorporated into development cooperation. Since 2003, several allotment gardens for the urban poor have been built in the Philippines with the support of German and Belgian partners.

Allotment gardens are being discussed as a strategy of food security for the cities of Africa and are already being implemented successfully, as in Heilbron (South Africa).

Ecology in allotments

Deer in the ecological garden

Nature and environmental protection play an important role for allotment gardeners. When asked about the importance that your allotment garden has for you personally, this is highly valued - even before health care and enjoyment of gardening. Almost all allotment gardeners practice the basic rules of natural gardening. 97% use rainwater for irrigation and 96% compost garden waste. There is a strong awareness of natural gardening among younger allotment gardeners who have been cultivating their garden for a maximum of ten years. More than every second of these new allotment gardeners (54%) cultivates organic fruit and vegetables, almost two thirds (61 %) do without artificial fertilizers , more than four fifths (82%) reject chemical pest control . This development is promoted by specialist advice from the clubs. 84% of the clubs use this to promote the nature and environmental awareness of their members (1997: 75%). In every tenth facility there are "ecological model allotments", where the possibilities of a natural gardener are demonstrated.

Situation in Germany

Allotment garden

The term allotment garden is defined by Section 1 (1) of the Federal Allotment Garden Act , as is the term allotment garden use . The land that can be leased by the municipalities is also referred to as grave land .

Most allotments are organized in associations . The umbrella association of allotment gardeners is the Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e. V. (BDG) . It represents 20 regional associations with a total of 15,000 clubs. A total of 967,240 allotment gardeners are organized in the associations. Together with the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development, the BDG organizes the federal competition “Gardens in Urban Development” every four years . This honors special urban planning, ecological, garden cultural and social achievements of the allotment garden associations.

In Germany there are more than a million allotment gardens, mainly in cities , as people there often lack garden land due to a lack of space. Together these have an area of ​​more than 46,000  hectares (460 km²). The individual parcels are on average 370 m². The largest allotment garden association is the “Verein der Kleingärtner Ulm e. V. “in Ulm , founded in 1932. There are 1315 parcels on 53.1 hectares. The smallest facility is the allotment gardeners association "Am Vogelberg" in Kamenz with five plots.

An average transfer fee for an allotment garden is 1900 euros. In large cities, however, this is higher at an average of 3300 euros. Overall, the acquisition costs have decreased by 30% since 1990. The average rent for an allotment garden is 0.17 euros / m². In the last ten years the lease has increased by around 30% across Germany. The amount of the rent also correlates with the size of the city; the larger the city, the more expensive the garden rent. The membership fee is on average 29 euros per year. In addition, there are ancillary costs averaging 276 euros a year for electricity, insurance and local taxes. An allotment garden in Germany costs an average of 373 euros a year, which means around one euro per day.

Especially in the big cities, the demand often exceeds the supply - 40% of all clubs have waiting lists (old federal states: 60%). In regions that are characterized by a decline in population, some gardens are now unable to find tenants, one third of the clubs complain about vacancies - 2.5% of their gardens have been vacant for more than a year. On average, ten new tenants apply for each club each year, and there is a total of 5.2% of the parcels in a tenant change.

One of the main tasks of the allotment gardens is to compensate for the dense multi- storey apartment building , to replace the lack of garden land on the residential building and the lack of nearby green spaces. 82% of the allotment gardener households are tenant households who mostly live in multi-storey apartment blocks (67% in the west, 74% in the east). Your own parcel offers near-dwelling compensation for the lack of green. 84% of all gardens are located a maximum of five kilometers from the apartment. 96% of all allotment gardeners need a maximum of half an hour to get to their garden, 60% need less than a quarter of an hour.

Allotment garden density in major German cities (rank according to number of inhabitants) (Source: Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e.V. )

city Population (2012) Allotments (2013) Allotments /
100 inhabitants
1. Berlin 3,531,201 67,961 (5) 2.0
2. Hamburg 1,812,709 35,641 (5) 2.0
3. Munich 1,378,176 8,684 0.6
4th Cologne 1,017,155 13,000 1.2
5. Frankfurt am Main 691,518 15,870 (4) 2.3
6th Stuttgart 587,538 2,900 0.4
7th Dortmund 580,956 8,155 1.4
8th. eat 582.140 9,000 (not in the federal association) 1.5
9. Dusseldorf 581.122 not in the federal association
10. Bremen 548.319 16,663 3.0
11. Hanover 518.069 20,000 (3) 3.8
12. Leipzig 510.512 32,000 (1) 6.2
13. Dresden 529.781 23,500 (2) 4.4
14th Nuremberg 510.602 5713 1.1
15th Duisburg 488.005 6.330 1.2

In Nuremberg there is an arbor museum , which is administered by the Nuremberg city association of allotment gardeners.

In the new federal states is often grandfathered applied to meet the requirements of the Federal Garden Law, such as the allowable size of the arbors. The previous legal provisions must be taken into account.

The average age of allotment garden users is 60 years. From 2003 to 2008, 45% of new leases went to families. 64% of all tenants who have taken over a garden since 2000 are younger than 55 years.

The use of allotment gardens by tenant families with a migration background is also significant . In 2004, their quota in the whole of Germany was 7.5% in the organized clubs, with a population share of 8.9%. In the old federal states the rate was as much as 17.0%, with only a slightly higher proportion of the population of 9.6%. A study by the Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia predicted further growth in this demand as early as 2009, especially in metropolitan areas.

History and situation in Austria

After the first meetings in 1903, the “First Austrian Natural Healing Association” was founded on a meadow two and a half yoke in size in Purkersdorf near Vienna, and in 1904 Austria’s first allotment garden “Heimgarten” was built in the German Forest south of Purkersdorf. Later follow those lying within the municipality of Vienna. On June 12, 1907, the “Heimgarten” association was founded in Graz and the first allotment gardens were built in Graz. On January 28, 1943, the association was renamed "Heimgartenverein Langensiepen". Langensiepen is still one of the largest home gardens in Styria; the Grazer Mühlgang flows through it .

The home garden provider Magistrat Wien is organizing the Vienna allotment garden fair in the Hirschstetten flower gardens at Easter, which in its 13th edition in 2017 also included building and living as a focus (more and more people are living in allotment gardens). The lease amounts to 1.30 to 3.50 euros per square meter, depending on the dedication and construction. Vienna has almost 36,000 allotment gardens with a total of 14 million square meters, which corresponds to 3.37% of the municipality's area of ​​415 km². The Central Association of Allotment Gardeners declares that there would be a need for 3000 additional plots in 2017.

Situation in Switzerland

In 1925, the Swiss Family Gardeners Association was founded by the cantonal umbrella organizations of Basel, Bern, Geneva, Lausanne and Zurich under the name of the Swiss Allotment Gardeners Association as an umbrella organization for the whole of Switzerland. Around 25,000 members and around 400 garden areas have joined the umbrella organization. In 1974, it was divided into the regions Suisse romande, Basel, Bern, Eastern Switzerland, Central Switzerland and Zurich. The garden areas are made permanently available by cities and municipalities and are funded and managed by garden tenants organized in cooperatives in the sense of near-natural horticulture . The family gardens are considered a creative and productive leisure activity with an extremely integrative character. The offerings are also actively used by the foreign resident population. The association newspaper Gartenfreund - Jardin familial is published monthly in two languages ​​with a circulation of 25,000 copies. With almost 3 "Pünten" for every 100 inhabitants, Winterthur has a large number of such family gardens.

Situation in Europe

14 national allotment gardeners' organizations are organized in the European association “Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux”.

Number of members in allotment gardening associations in Europe

Belgium: 42,000
Denmark: 40,000
Germany: 970,000
Finland: 4,700
France: 26,000
Great Britain: 80,000
Luxembourg: 33,500
Netherlands: 22,000
Norway: 2,000
Austria: 38,000
Poland: 850,000
Sweden: 26,000
Switzerland: 27,000
Slovakia: 130,000


from two eras

Poor gardens

The establishment of poor gardens on the initiative of well-meaning sovereigns, factory owners, city administrations and welfare organizations was one of many measures to get the poor problem under control at the beginning of the 19th century . It was caused by the surge in the population. Since the gross domestic product did not increase in the same proportion, the problem of the poor was recognized as a priority. The parceled gardens, which were laid out at the suggestion of Landgrave Carl von Hessen around 1797/98 in what was then still Danish Kappeln an der Schlei (so-called Carls gardens) are considered to be one of the first poor gardens in Germany today . The main goal was to counteract hunger and impoverishment. In 1826 such gardens already existed in 19 cities. In 1830, the “Society of Voluntary Poor Friends” in Kiel followed suit. On the “Prüner Schlag”, plots owned by the city with a size of 400 m², which is still valid today, were identified and given for low leases. In the middle of the 19th century, poor gardens emerged in many cities and especially in Berlin the arbor colonies of the Red Cross ("Red Cross Gardens ") and the workers 'movement (" Workers' Gardens") as well as the gardens of railway agriculture ("Railway Gardens").


Typed allotment garden house of the settlement project " Neues Frankfurt ", 1925–1930 (status 2014)
Listed allotment garden house from around 1940 in the Annateich permanent colony in Hanover

Another line of development can be traced back to the Leipzig doctor Moritz Schreber , who gave the later systems its name, from the middle of the 19th century . However, the orthopedic surgeon Schreber was not the inventor of the allotment garden movement, but with the anatomist Carl Ernst Bock and the dietary-orthopedic concept developed by them in 1847 merely gave the impetus to allotment gardens or garden colonies that were initially used for “physical exercise”. It was Schreber's colleague, the school director Ernst Innozenz Hauschild , on whose initiative the first Schreberverein goes back. Actually a school association, which arose in cooperation with the parents of his students, but no one wanted to christen it either a school or educational association and so it was named in honor of the late Schreber. In 1865, the inauguration of the first "Schreberplatz" at Johannapark in Leipzig, a playground where children of factory workers could play and exercise under the supervision of a teacher. Up to this point, Schreberplatz has nothing to do with gardens.

It was only a teacher named Heinrich Karl Gesell who laid out gardens at this place. Initially intended as a further activity option for the children, the gardens quickly developed into refuges for the parents and the whole family. The “children's beds” on the edge of the Schreberplatz became “family beds”, which were later parceled out and fenced off. From now on they were called “allotment gardens”.

Soon these gardens passed into the care of the parents and in 1869, when the initiative already comprised around 100 parcels , they adopted an association statute . Tool sheds, arbors and fences were built, and by 1891 14 more allotment associations had been founded in Leipzig. The historic allotment garden “Dr. Schreber ”is now a listed building and has housed the German allotment gardening museum since 1996 .

Allotment garden areas were designated in many places in Europe in order to provide the population with better nutrition in the period after the Second World War . Due to the housing shortage in Germany after the Second World War, the arbors in allotment gardens were often expanded and made habitable without authorization. These black buildings were mostly tolerated by the city administration and the residents were granted lifelong right of residence. So it happens that to this day small houses can still be found in old allotment gardens that are also inhabited.

See also


  • Hartwig Stein: Islands in the sea of ​​houses. A cultural history of German allotment gardening up to the end of the Second World War, imperial tendencies and developments in Greater Hamburg Lang, Frankfurt am Main 1998, ISBN 3-631-32815-X (also dissertation at the University of Hamburg , 1997; second, corrected edition: 2000 , ISBN 3-631-36632-9 ) ( Review by Hasso Spode in Die Zeit. From January 20, 2000).
  • Hartwig Stein: How Hammonia came to allotment gardens : a brief history of Hamburg's allotment gardening from the middle of the 19th to the end of the 20th century , published by the "German allotment gardening museum in Leipzig", German allotment gardening museum , Leipzig 2000, DNB 959808329 (= sponsoring association German allotment gardening museum in Leipzig: Scientific writings , volume 3).
  • Wolfgang Rinnebach: The arbor. A living document of the times 1939–1962. Zeitgut, Berlin 2006, ISBN 3-933336-96-1 .
  • André Christian Wolf: Small colorful gardens. Citizen engagement and integration in allotment gardening associations. In: PNDonline. Issue 1/2008, (PDF; 419 kB)
  • Stefan Leppert: Paradise with an arbor: the book about Germany's allotment gardens . DVA, Munich 2009, ISBN 978-3-421-03689-6 .
  • Martin Rist, Angelika Feiner: The allotment garden book. At the spade - set - go. BLV, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-8354-0755-8 .

Web links

Commons : Allotment garden  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Kleingarten  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Office International du Coin de Terre et des Jardins Familiaux (German)
  2. a b c d e f Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning -BBR-, Bonn, Federal Ministry for Transport, Building and Urban Development -BMVBS- (Ed.): Urban planning, ecological and social significance of allotment gardens . Self-published, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-87994-465-1 .
  3. J. Gerold, AW Drescher, R. Holmer: Allotment gardens for poverty reduction - allotment gardens in Cagayan de Oro. In: Southeast Asia. 21 (4) 2005, pp. 76-77.
  4. ^ AW Drescher: The German Allotment Gardens - a Model For Poverty Alleviation and Food Security in Southern African Cities?
  5. Numbers and facts. BDG
  6. Essen city association of allotment gardeners' associations. V.
  7. BDG working group “Integration of Aussiedler / Foreign Nationals”: ​​Martin Rist, Dr. sc. agr. Achim Friedrich, Werner Heidemann Hans-Ulrich Helms, Siegfried Horn, Hans Perzi, Elfriede Schneider Ute Wendel: The integration of ethnic repatriates and immigrants in allotment gardening . A guide for association boards . In: Bundesverband Deutscher Gartenfreunde e. V. (Ed.): Living together - integration in the allotment garden. A guide . 2004, p. 10 ( [1] [PDF]).
  8. Gerlinde Krause (general editor): Study: Future of allotment gardening in North Rhine-Westphalia . Ed .: Ministry for the Environment and Nature Conservation, Agriculture and Consumer Protection of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. January 2009, p. 238 ( [2] [PDF]).
  9. ^ History , Central Association of Allotment Gardeners, accessed on February 8, 2020.
  10. ^ History from 1941 ( memento from November 7, 2016 in the Internet Archive ), Central Association of Allotment Gardeners
  11. The garden paradise in the middle of the city , mein, March 30, 2016, accessed on November 6, 2016.
  12. Great interest in living in the garden house, April 8, 2017, accessed on April 8, 2017.
  13. ^ Wiener Kleingarten Messe - The fair for building, designing and feeling good in the house and garden, website of the fair, 7. – 9. April 2017. Retrieved April 8, 2017.
  14. the Swiss Family Gardener Association website
  15. Ulrich Lange In: Jürgen Jensen, Peter Wulf (ed.): History of the city of Kiel. Wachholtz Verlag, Neumünster 1991, ISBN 3-529-02718-9 .
  16. Florian Mildenberger : Medical instruction for the bourgeoisie. Medicinal cultures in the magazine "Die Gartenlaube" (1853–1944). Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2012 (= medicine, society and history. Supplement 45), ISBN 978-3-515-10232-2 , p. 32 f.
  17. Federal Allotment Garden Act §18 (PDF)