King of my garden

Anja Ligtenberg

2015 - Ongoing

King of my garden, the people of community garden Groen Gennep, the Netherlands

Groen Gennep is a community complex of vegetable gardens in the Netherlands, south of Eindhoven, next to the High Tech Campus. Although it is a postage stamp of land; the whole society is represented here.

There are 200 gardeners and they are all different from each other; in nationality (22), age, social class, reasons for having a garden, growing strategies, vegetables etc. Despite their differences, these gardeners all have one thing in common; they love their garden and they work with passion and dedication.

You can feel like a king on your own plot. You can deal with things exactly the way you want to. The challenges you face are manageable and the outcome is not a big risk (in contrast to many things in reality of daily life outside the garden).

Gardening is a solo process. You have to be creative to grow good vegetables. There are all kinds of obstacles and challenges to face, like the weather, plant diseases, pests, weeds. People put their heart and soul into this and come up with creative solutions. At Groen Gennep everybody creates their own work of art, and everybody is king of his garden.

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  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Kaysri Bangaru, from Guyana
    I work as a HR manager at the Fontys University. At work I am always inside, sitting behind a desk. But I love being outside, doing something physical like working in my garden, even when it is really cold. It is the best way to clear your head; all your daily troubles disappear when you’re here.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Havva Yalaidi, from Turkey, I love beans. It is a bit early but I put up the bamboo sticks now because for the next 6 weeks I will be recovering from knee surgery. When I return I can start right away with planting the beans.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip
    Green House

  • Groen Gennip, Eindhoven, the Netherlands,
    Toeti and Achmed Sourapaiman, from Surinam/Indonesia
    We are from Surinam but have Indonesian roots. This can be seen in the vegetables we grow, most of which are very difficult to get hold of here. We share a large proportion of what we grow with the elderly people in our mosque. They really appreciate this as they also miss the vegetables from back home.
    We both really love to work here together and are here almost every day.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Harrie Teeuwen from the Netherlands,
    I have 24 different kinds of fruittrees. I love tos ee how a fruit trree first blossoms and then a big pear grows from that little blossom flower. Working with plants, with a shovel inyour hand makes you forget about the rest of the world.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip
    Communitygarden, landscaping on a postage stamp

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Carlijn 't Hoen & RIan Arts, from the Netherlands,
    We live next door from eachother, here we share a garden because it is too much work for one personIn the summer, we bring our kids to play here. It si great that we can teach them that vegetables grow from the earth and not in the supermarket.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Leo Koenen from the Netherlands
    I guess I’m the oldest surviving founder of these gardens. I’m 82 now.
    My wife has Alzheimer’s. She’s in day-care so I have to make sure I’m home in time when the bus brings her back.
    “Do you hear the birds? They don’t like me tidying up the sunflowers. You hear them? They’re angry because this is their food.” So he puts a couple back “because they have to eat too, and we have to take care of the little ones.”

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Growing pumpkins

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Emma Wang from China & Kris Zych frim Poland,
    I teach Chinese language a the High Tech Campus and my husband is a electrical engineer at the technical University. We both come from families that grow our vegetables at home. This is our first day in the garden.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Hans Guttinger from the Netherlands

    I’m a professional gardener. I have my own garden here to grow super foods, wheatgrass and grains. I grow these for my health and it does me a great deal of good. These products are very expensive to buy in the store, so I grow my own

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    How to grow beans (1)

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    How to grow beans (2)

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,
    Hennie Ruitenbeek,
    I've just planted beans and put a net over them but some birds, like crows are very big and heavy and smart. They let themselves fall into the net which ythen sags under their weight so that they can get to the small beans. So now I use something extra. I've cut out the bottom of some small containers. If you put them on top of the little beansprouts the birds can't get to them

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennep
    Monique Beelen, Harrie Wouters, the Netherlands
    I work a lot with my garden partner who is teaching me how to work with bees.
    I love my garden. No household, no children, no nothing. This is my sanctuary where I find my peace. I grew everything myself from seeds.

  • Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Groen Gennip,