Happy birds in the garden of the Landsberg estate

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with: Susan Greiner

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Donated LBV Landsberg Allgaier
Petra Allgaier’s approximately 150 square meter homestead has only been certified bird-friendly for a few weeks. A cucumber grows near a large lavender bush on the left, followed by a petiole-shaped thistle with funnel-shaped leaves that collect water as a natural watering hole for insects. © Fr

Landsberg. The garden is intended, on the one hand, for self-sufficiency, on the other hand, for relaxation. The use of the garden by the garden club in Landsberg is also understandable. Specifically, this means that half of the area – excluding the gazebo – should be used for growing fruits and vegetables. Petra Allgaier’s allotment garden on the allotment on Frieseneggerstraße shows that this does not have to be a contradiction in terms of a bird-friendly garden. Four weeks ago, she received a plaque with an orange bird on a green background. This makes it #16 in the county to have successfully campaigned for LBV and the Environment Agency (LfU).

Allgaier is lucky: she has owned one of the plots on Frieseneggerstrasse for six years. A year ago, the neighboring cell became vacant: Allgaier had an opportunity to expand, which she and her husband also took advantage of. Now your plot is about 150 square meters, two gazebos, many hedges and bushes, as well as an old apple tree. Already at the garden gate, the visitor is greeted by the cry of a thrush, which, not being too shy, settled more comfortably in one of the tall hedges. Behind it, as in a small labyrinth, a table with two chairs is hidden in the partial shade of the branches of the apple tree above. You can be here. The “rest” task of the garden plot is already marked with a check mark.

It remains to grow fruits and vegetables. The homestead is not divided into “birdhouse” and “garden”: berry bushes grow in several places, the first fruits of zucchini lie among the herbs and wild plants, beans grow among the marigolds, and a cucumber climbs next to the lavender bush. Allgaier knows that nettle seeds can also be eaten, for example in salads, which are also flavored with nettle leaves. That being said, using half the space for fruit and vegetables – or edibles – and still offering an Eldorado for birds is not rocket science. And doing less work: “I’m not here every day,” Allgaier says. She actually only waters tomatoes and cucumbers. Other plants only sporadically: “They just grow a little less frequently.” Her gardening is more about plucking and plucking things from time to time than exciting digging and digging. There is no need to mow the lawn. There is no lawn.

Hans Streicher of the LBV district group in Landsberg also knows that the home garden was originally only used for self-sufficiency. So it is of course absolutely fine and also fine if the tenants of the plots use the entire area for cultivation. And so that children can play better on the small lawn, free of charge. Nevertheless, there are corners in every garden that can be left to their own devices. And which then served as a habitat for insects and birds.

frog and lizard

When Allgaier took possession of the garden, there were cushion perennials, a ground cover, several berry bushes and an apple tree. The old thuja had to be cut down because it was too tall for the plot. The remaining trunk, with a height of a good one and a half meters, serves as a natural shelter for insects.

Algaier gradually changed the garden, planted a pear tree, herbs, vegetables and a hedge. The latter do not necessarily have to be practically square or equispherical: they grow as they wish, occasionally being trimmed. Allgaier created a small watering hole in one corner: “A frog lives there now.” Recently, a lizard crawled across her path. A lawn with wild branches grows under the apple tree, cut once a year with a lawnmower.

See what’s growing

In one place, a thistle grows with funnel-shaped leaves, in which water collects – a natural bath for insects. “Things are constantly changing over time,” says Allgaier. “Thistle also found its place.” If he doesn’t know the plant, he always waits first instead of uprooting it. And even in the cracks of the few asphalted areas, it turns green and sprouts. Many flowers in the garden are wild, unfilled because only they produce seeds and are therefore used as food for birds. For example, an almost two-meter rhubarb flower. And since there is a lot of food waiting here, this year the titmice have bred in the nest box on the wall of the gazebo, says the gardener of the site. In the wooden beam of the insect hotel next to it, some holes are taped: an incubator for insect eggs.

There are also several non-native plants: peonies, bush butterfly. No problem, says Streicher. They love lilacs and insects. And even the potato was not a local plant in the past. Streicher takes a pragmatic view: “As long as at least a third of the vegetation is still native species, that’s fine.”

Algaier’s garden also has a compost pile, which Streicher hails as “an Eldorado for slow worms and other critters.” They love the heat that comes from rotting plant waste. A year later you still have the best soil. But please don’t pick them up in June, says Streicher. Sooner in the spring, when the slow worm leaves the then cold “stall”.

The plot near Petra Allgaiers is extremely neat: clearly defined vegetable beds, a large area with an almost English lawn, a gazebo freshly painted. Contrasts quite well with Allgaier’s “Desert”. “Some people then say, yes, it’s time to clean things up again,” says Streicher. However, no one has yet complained about the gardener’s unusual plot.

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