Kolonistugor

Delightful little cottage or ‘kolonistuga’ at the allotment gardens

Koloniträgård or ‘allotment gardens‘ are fairly common in Swedish cities as a way for apartment dwellers to get an opportunity to garden and access the outdoors, even if they live on the 7th floor. At one time they also served a food security purpose, and while globalization has brought pineapples north all year round, there is still a strong case for retaining the space, skills, and capacity to grow food in each community… even (or especially!) in urban communities. Naturally Sweden takes this to an egalitarian and social welfare conclusion, where everyone should be able to garden and also have access to nature, even if they don’t have a summer house out in the country.

There is a koloniträgård bordering on the forest quite close to our apartment, so we’ve been able to see the late summer bounty pass into fall, and have even taken a few walks through the garden paths. It is a great lesson in what will grow here: what perennials do well, what fruits and veggies make it to the end of the season to ripen properly, and what frost- hardy varieties make popular cultivars. There is a wonderful variety of patios, gazebos, and also methods of animal-proofing that acknowledge the forest-side location (plenty of small dear and big rabbits here!)