I. Gardens 4 All

Hamburg DE | 2008

Commissioned for Elbinsel Sommer, Kultur/Natur, 2008.


Designed on site, and implemented over a three week residency, three interconnected art actions supplemented and reflected on each other:  I. a temporary garden in public space, II. a permanent participatory planting in adjacent raised beds, and III. Kitchen Table Diplomacy–a gallery installation which became the stage for a community participatory performance during the opening event.

PART I.  The temporary garden.

The site on the plaza next to the Wilhelmsburg rapid transit station was selected because it was an open, busy public setting near immigrant public housing.  Local Intercultural  Community Gardeners wished to attract housing residents to join them and participate in the permanent garden installation on the plaza later.  Temporary planters were inexpensive household containers (baskets and plastic tubs) to demonstrate low cost, accessible strategies to grow food using permaculture techniques. Signage invited walkers-by to the permanent garden installion; and the gallery celebration performance. At dismantling one month later, remaining plants were donated to local community gardens and to the plaza permanent garden. Flowers, fruits, and vegetables on the asphalted square were free to all Wilhemsburg residents.  So the apples, peppers, greens, and sunflowers were picked, and sparked many conversations among otherwise strangers.


Haarmann, Ake, & Lemke, Harald. “Culture/Nature
Art and Philosophy In The Context Of Urban Development.”