In front of my house last summer
Berlin Street Scene

I was reading Der Tagesspiegel, one of Berlin’s daily newspapers, and came across an article about urban gardening in Berlin. Germans love flowers. There are florist shops everywhere, and many apartment balconies are filled with plants and window boxes. When spring arrives, it’s time for gardening. Like many cities, open space is limited, so gardeners plant where they can.

Nice use of ferns
Sign reads: Compliments free but the flowers stay here!
Here are some pictures from Der Tagesspiegel. I’ve also included a picture of a small garden plot in front of my house in Portland. I planted the plot last year to minimize the telephone pole and the graffiti. 

Unfortunately, I discovered that some people have little respect for these wonderful urban oases of flowers. People pick the flowers, walk in the beds, and even use the space as a dog toilet. It only takes a few people to mess a thing up. Fortunately, most people are respectful, and I can report that the garden plot was a success. 

In Berlin, people posts signs to discourage this kind of inconsiderate behavior.
I particularly like the sign that reads:  Compliments free but the flowers stay here! There are small tags on the sign that can be removed. The tags have various compliments written on them. The tags say things such as “that is a pretty dress,” “a really cool shirt,” etc.  A few of the tags have even been removed.
Even kids get into the act

What a great idea. I think I will post a similar sign this year in Portland. 

This is very German: everything in its place