I like the structural aesthetics of the branches laying on what is during the summer our tiny sunny porch overlooking the garden and adjacent valley. The wooden hut belongs to the neighbors garden. The pile serves as a safety zone during the winter for small critters and hopefully some hedgehogs that we hope to attract, to help us keep the snail population during spring, summer and fall in check.

In the second part of my Tiny Urban Farm operation, the old factory garden, I also create cluttered spaces with leaves and branches during the fall as a refuge for insects and small animals. There are plenty of houses close by, trucks for deliveries, handyman and cleaning services come and go frequently during the day and park in the courtyard and the neighbors children use it as a playground year-round. Still many birds visit us looking for insects and worms, there is a hedgehog living in my garden for many years and I have zero snail issues. During last fall, even a squirrel came to visit repeatedly.

Squirrels are quite rare in Germany, they are considered very cute and it is always perceived as a lucky occasion when you spot them. So unlike in the US, where I learned they are seen as tree rats, it feels like a blessing when one is visiting your garden. Sataf