Some people dream of fast cars, luxury fashion, big villas. I dream of a little garden shed. A little allotment somewhere in the city where the borders between city life and countryside blur. Imagine a little allotment where you can grow your own veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers. And in the middle there is a dreamy garden shed. A little refuge for the urban dweller where you reconnect with Mother Nature. Sounds like fantasy? Well guess what: I found such a dreamy garden shed right here in Munich.
The charming owner (tenant would be more correct as you rent such allotments from the city here in Germany) is young, talented, and very creative. I met Ben on Instagram a while ago and fell in love with his snapshots from his garden shed. At one point I decided to contact him and suggest a little blog series. Much to my joy he was all game.
Ben has been the tenant of this garden shed for the past five years. When he took it over from an elderly couple it was the cliché garden shed of a retired German couple. Lots of wood panelling everywhere, a traditional corner seat, plastic garden furniture. Two months later Ben transformed the garden and the garden shed into a dreamy haven with lots of personality.
The garden turned into a wild grove of flowers, herbs, vegetables and fruits. Red currants, apples, raspberries grow next to pumpkins, salads, cucumbers, courgettes, tomatoes. The air in the garden is rich with scents of basil, rosemary, thyme. The pebbled pathway invites the visitor to roam around and discover the bounty of nature on a tiny little allotment.
The garden shed itself is a little dream come true. Ben painted the wooden panelling white and added thrifted furniture pieces to the little shed. Table, chairs, a cupboard, a daybed, a bench – everything is vintage and perfectly matches the atmosphere. Old copper pots and pans adorn the wall in the kitchen corner, whereas above the daybed a personal collection of ceramics, souvenirs, stones, and dried flowers attract the beholder’s eye. Ceramics is also a catchword here! Ben is not only great in growing fruits and vegetables and styling interiors, he also is a super talented ceramicist.
The majority of ceramics is handmade in Ben’s garden shed. Cups, bowls, vases – all made by Ben himself. Even the big salad bowl is handmade as well as the ceramic lampshade above the table in the shed. He also made the wind chimes and the chandelier on the porch. And all the flower arrangements are made by Ben too. I need not mention that all the flowers come from his garden. Now if I tell you that he is a great cook and bakes delicious cakes and cookies too, will you believe me? Is this guy for real?!
I am not done with my praise for Ben and his manifold talents. During my visit Ben showed me his beehives behind the shed. Recently he collected his first batch of homemade honey from his hives and I got a little jar to take home with me. Then it was barbecue time. Ben prepared some veggies from the garden, yummy sausages, and a homegrown salad. This was perfectly accompanied by ice cold apple ciders and infused water on the porch. That Sunday evening felt like an instant vacation on the countryside yet I was a 15 minutes bus drive away from my downtown home!
When I featured pics of Ben’s garden shed on Instagram, people told me that I should get myself such an allotment too. Oh believe me I’d love to but the waiting lists are eternal. I also heard of people who were even refused to be put on waiting lists as those were too long already. After all it looks like I am not the only one dreaming of a little garden shed in the city. But a boy can dream, right?
Follow Ben on Instagram for more inspiration! And for all of you who read/understand German here is a book suggestion: ‘Lust auf Laube’ is looking at the new movement of urban dwellers and their allotments by presenting 20 examples from all over Germany. The book is published by DVA and you can get it HERE. Happy dreaming!
Photography by Igor Josifovic