Kleingartenverein Bornholm II e.V. 

Tales from the Allotment Garden

Even if you occasionally get a different impression while reading his book „Mein Leben im Schrebergarten“ (My Life in the Allotment Garden), looking back, Wladimir Kaminer assures “the time in the allotment garden was not a painful one, we enjoyed the garden.” In 2005 and 2006 the successful author, who was born in Moscow, together with his family, farmed in Bornholm II in lot 118, which he “moves” to his fictional Berlin garden colony "Glückliche Hütten I” (Happy Huts).

Here he fervently works as an "allotment gardener", even if the strict rules and the admonitions of the gardening board members slow down his vigor and some of the habits of his garden neighbors irritate him. “We planted Ligustrum vulgare from sunrise to late evening. When we came to plant number the ninety-nine, an unknown brunette from the directive board visited us and qualified our work as a violation of paragraph such and such of the allotment garden code as well as a violation of the latest resolutions of the garden colony 'Happy Huts I'. "

“Life can be so beautiful when you blend in with nature [...].  The earth is an allotment garden, and we are its friends, the garden friends who have quartered themselves between the rhubarb leaves."

Kaminer's book is more than a funny revenge on the “last stronghold of the German philistine”. He uses the description of his “garden friends” as a loving panorama of the German mental state, not without using Russian-Caucasian analogies and counter-images in his own family. According to his own statement, the book is also intended as a quest for meaning, as an homage to Henry David Thoreau's book "Walden", published in 1854, in which Thoreau describes his "exit" in a log cabin on Walden Pond.

Today, Wladimir Kaminer does his gardening in Brandenburg. What is left to us is his beautiful book „Mein Leben im Schrebergarten“ (Goldmann, München 2007), which has its roots in lot 118.

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