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Friday, August 12, 2022

A garden dream for four generations in Birkenwerder

Of Johannes Malinowski

A little house in the countryside – that’s what many dream of. Hannelore and Willi Grünberg (both 74) from Birkenwerder (Oberhavel) fulfilled this dream early on. Today they share it with the whole family for four generations.

The pride of the couple (married for 53 years): the huge garden behind the house. “It’s a real summer paradise, which for many seems like a park,” says Willi Grünberg.

The two met and fell in love in Potsdam in 1967. Both were apprentices in the Oberlinhaus. He as an orthopedic technician, she as a seamstress. In 1969 daughter Manuela was born. The couple has lived in the beautiful apartment building (three apartments) behind the northern outskirts of Berlin since 1976. A year earlier, the second daughter Dörte was born.

Willi Grünberg grew up in Wustermark (Havelland), his wife Hannelore in Linthe (Potsdam-Mittelmark). “We both come from the country,” she says, “my parents had a yard.” So it was obvious that they wouldn’t be satisfied with a small balcony.

A garden dream for four generations in Birkenwerder

Hannelore and Willi Grünberg (both 74) in their garden paradise in Birkenwerder. They have lived there since 1976. Both are from the country. Therefore it had to be a house in the countryside Photo: Stefanie Herbst

So they asked the then municipal housing administration (KWV) whether they could use part of the garden. They quickly grew the first plants on a narrow strip. Willi: “When we started, the whole garden was a big desert.”

The Grünbergs' property is 765 square meters.  Enough space for four generations and their paradise

The Grünbergs’ property is 765 square meters. Enough space for four generations and their paradise Photo: Johannes Malinowski

Since 1997 the two have owned the house with 765 square meters of land. At that time they began to design the entire garden according to their ideas and also to renovate the house. A pavilion became a solid wooden hut for the cold autumn. For sitting – and overwintering the plants.

A small bathroom for garden parties was created in the former stables. Willi Grünberg grows cucumbers and tomatoes in two self-built greenhouses, behind which strawberries, kohlrabi, carrots and so on…

When the Grünbergs bought the house and land in 1997, they began to design the garden according to their ideas

When the Grünbergs bought the house and land in 1997, they began to design the garden according to their ideas Photo: Stefanie Herbst

The two are not alone. Daughter Dörte lives in an apartment in the house, granddaughter Annemarie (32) recently moved into the attic apartment with her daughter Lara (10). Four generations of a family in the same house!

Willi Grünberg built the greenhouse for the cucumbers himself.  The longest specimen this summer was 45 centimeters long

Willi Grünberg built the greenhouse for the cucumbers himself. The longest specimen this summer was 45 centimeters long Photo: Stefanie Herbst

“We spend a lot of time together in the garden and almost always eat together,” says Hannelore Grünberg. They are very lucky to have their daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter living with them.

Only Newfoundland bitch Lotti (ten months) leaves her tracks on the otherwise immaculate lawn. Where she relieves herself, brown spots remain. Willi Grünberg swears by Entec fertilizer. The potting soil comes from Poland.

In September, the Grünbergs take a vacation from the garden. There it goes – like every year – to Usedom.

Hannelore Grünberg not only cleans the pool (3.50 meters in diameter, 1.20 meters deep), she also jumps in it regularly.  The family has had him since 2006

Hannelore Grünberg not only cleans the pool (3.50 meters in diameter, 1.20 meters deep), she also jumps in it regularly. The family has had him since 2006 Photo: Stefanie Herbst

“The garden was a great blessing, especially in Corona times”

The paradise historically: The Grünbergs have lived in their house in Birkenwerder since 1976. Initially for rent, in 1997 they bought the house and land.

This is how we got to our paradise: “We registered a right of first refusal as early as 1991,” says Willi Grünberg. In flashback, a very wise decision.

how much space is The plot is 765 square meters, the garden takes up about half of it.

How much does pleasure cost? Maintaining a garden doesn’t come cheap. Willi Grünberg: “We definitely spend 1,000 euros a year. Mainly for planting, soil and fertilizer.”

What is the greatest happiness here? “We can go out and are not locked on a small balcony,” says Hannelore Grünberg. “We can just sit where we want. That was very lucky, especially during the Corona period.”

And in the winter? There is peace in the garden. Some of the plants overwinter in the wooden hut, including hibiscus and begonias.

more on the subject

Join us!

Dear BZ readers, we would also like to get to know your summer paradise! Whether you spend the hot days in the garden, on the balcony or on the boat: we come to you!

Contact us with a photo or video and a few sentences [email protected] or about that Online reader reporter form.

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