Allotment gardens are called "Schrebergarten" in German. Dr Daniel Schreber (1808-1861) was a orthopedist who was amongst the founders of the first gymnastic club in Leipzig and called in a time of industrialization for greens for the children to play on. After his death his son-in-law founded a club for the education of children and in the year 1864 this club created the first green playground for children and called it - in remembrance of Schreber - "Schreberwiese" (Schreber's meadow). The playground was surrounded by beds, where the children were meant to learn gardening. But soon the parents took over, the beds were fenced in and devided into small lots. These gardens were called "Schrebergarten" and in many other German cities new garden colonies were founded. When the housing situation in the cities became unbearable around 1870 the tenants of these small gardens started to build little wooden houses on their ground. At various times the gardens were important for the supply of the city dwellers with vegetables and fruits.
Today there are millions of those gardens in Germany. In Freiburg - a city with about 200.000 inhabitants - almost 4.000 gardens on communal land are administered by 12 clubs. The garden colony pictured above must consist of almost a thousand allotments - at least I have seen numbers up to "905" on the gates. Today the production of vegetables has become less important, many tenants grow mainly flowers and some - especially the younger tenants - consider their garden merely as a place to relax.