Lille Nok: Allotments In Copenhagen

By Copenhagen’s standards, Lille Nok is modest in size, just 75 small gardens, compared with many of the city’s other garden associations and yet as I park my bike outside the garden’s perimeter, I’m still in short cycling distance from Copenhagen’s Town Hall Square. Inside the gardens, an insistent male pheasant is putting down its claims on Bolt’s 100m Olympic sprint record and darting away from me. Early morning allotment owners unfold their camper chairs  and the first of many coffees are poured from thermostats. My attempts to capture their seasonal blooms with my lens are met with a proud nod and then its back to work, pruning this and hoeing that.

Allotment ownership has blossomed in Copenhagen since the 1950’s, providing its residents some sense of escape from its more densely populated neighborhoods. Today, the city has over 40.000 allotment owners and is immensely popular with Copenhagen’s ever-growing young families looking to combine the benefits of urban living with a hint of urban gardening. Denmark has in fact been an international leader in the promotion of allotment ownership. Even Tokyo, with its complex and high dense urban landscapes, is looking to Copenhagen’s allotment culture for inspiration.

And walking around Lille Nok I can easily understand the lure of growing one’s own vegetables, herbs and flora in easy reach from the challenges of urban living.

Content & Images: Phillip Mills

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