Four workers – an older man, a younger man, an older woman, a younger woman – are standing waist-deep in scratchy hedges, hoeing tall dried weeds out from between them. There’s a fair amount of bald dirt getting exposed between the somewhat scraggly bushes, which wear bright rose hips and some green, but are fairly bare brown twiggy below. Four hoes move, scrape, chop. Red and wood-colored poles swing, baseball-capped heads bow and rise.
I ask and am told, yes, the little piece of land is city property, “Gehört zum Amt.” The workers are sent by the city. Three times a year. Each public piece of green in Berlin gets care thre times a year – whether park or traffic island. Not very often, but still it must add up to an incredible amount of work.