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Intercultural Garden Rosenduft: Putting Down Roots in a New Country

Berliners and immigrants exchange their love for gardening and life experiences in intercultural gardens in Berlin

June 23rd, 2015

The area of land making up the Gleisdreieck Park in Kreuzberg, ground that was left uncultivated after the end of the Second World War, has now been replaced by a flourishing urban garden. The gardeners are women who come from regions in the Balkans affected by war. Their involvement in this project is an attempt to overcome their past and begin a new life in Germany. The intercultural garden project is an important initiative intending to provide these women with the opportunity of free dialogue, easier integration and a new start.  

Since the early 90s, alternative forms of urban gardens, have sprung up all over Germany, so called neighbourhood or community gardens. 

More than 60 of these city garden projects have been established across Germany, having been inspired by New York’s "Community Gardens”. In Berlin, numerous garden projects have also emerged throughout the last decade, in open spaces and urban wastelands.  As part of this "garden movement", the idea of intercultural gardens has emerged, and currently there are more than 20 intercultural gardens across different districts of the city. 

Garden Rosenduft bring together Germans and immigrants who share a common interest in gardening and want to exchange their passion for plants. Working together in these gardens allows the participants to not only share and expand their existing gardening knowledge, but also creates an opportunity for interaction between locals and refugees; working side by side creates an exchange process that extends far beyond planting and agricultural techniques. 

Created an area that until recently was considered a no man’s land, Rosenduft Garden is one of the most successful examples of intercultural gardens in Berlin, thanks also to the numerous different workshops that also take place there.

The project, which is undoubtedly an important testimony to human solidarity, was initiated in 2006 by the Southeast Europe Culture Association , with the support of the State of Berlin and funded through the European Integration Fund.

Its original aim was to offer refugees from former Yugoslavia, in particular women, a personal space for self-affirmation and to help them increase their self-confidence in their host country. The garden’s space is a place of integration, strengthened by maintaining traditions at the same time: the women plant seeds that are brought to the garden from their Bosnian homes, next to local varieties.

The garden can be visited on:

 Wed, Fri and Sun 16:00 - 20:00
 Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 - 13:00 and by appointment


References and Links

News from Berlin
Doina Plamadeala, Berlin Global