Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Sowing the Seeds of Love

One thing I've noticed (and am experiencing!) is the amount of apartments/multi-unit dwellings in Switzerland.
Our apartment building...Mo's window is the 3rd one up.

The reason for this is Switzerland is a small mountainous country that only has a small amount of land available for housing. In fact only around 30% of the population owns homes, with less than this in cities. It is not uncommon for a family of four to live in an apartment of 100 m2. And unlike the US, detached houses are mainly on the outskirts, not in central areas.

Apartment living has actually been great. We don't really know our neighbors, unfortunately, but for the most part they have been quiet (with the exception of New Year's Eve 😉) and courteous. The only downside is we don't have a backyard. This is a bummer both because it is much easier to let Smidgey out a few times a day than walking her a few times a day, and because we can't really have a garden...or can we?

Actually the Swiss are great about community gardens. All over the city there are community garden plots:
This is right next to the Siemens parking garage.
Some have multiple plots for multiple crops.
You can see a lot of them...
...from the train window.

There are quite a lot right outside of town.
Garden plots can be rented from the Gemeinde (community government), but depending where the garden is, there can be quite a long waiting for a plot. Sometimes plots stay in families for generations. We're not going to put ourselves on a list until we make our final move. (I guess, four times will be a charm?) Until then, I can soothe myself with one my favorite 80's Tears for Fears songs, "Sowing the Seeds of Love". (I know, I'm dating myself!)
And here is a poem that sprung up:
Seeds sown
among family,
and neighbors
are cultivated in love
and kindness
allowing the community
to flourish
and blossom.
©2018, Bridget Magee. All Rights Reserved.


  1. I drive by several community gardens on the way to the bookstore and except in winter, they are always full of people working at their plots. Interesting to hear the differences that occur when space is limited! The poem shows how nice gardening with a group can be! Spring is on its way, right?

    1. Yes, Linda, spring must be coming soon! It's funny here, even in the dead of winter (well below 0 degrees C) the grass is green. Unless it is white with snow. But once it melts again, green. People have been in their gardens cleaning up, but they are waiting for the warmth, too. =)