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Garden Visit: Hidden in Plain Sight in Warsaw

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Garden Visit: Hidden in Plain Sight in Warsaw

January 20, 2015

Hidden in plain sight, fairytale gardens surround a cluster of tiny wooden bungalows on a side street in central Warsaw. But the gardens’ future is uncertain. The Finnish houses, built in 1945, are under siege. Their story is an unusual one:

The story starts 70 years ago when the government of Finland, ordered to pay World War II reparations, financed construction of dozens of prefab houses, designed as temporary housing for the engineers, architects, and planners who were rebuilding the bombed-out city of Warsaw. Over the years, the central city grew up around the enclave; nowadays gray concrete complexes and a multi-land highway serve as a backdrop to the neighborhood.

Today only 27 of the original houses remain standing in the Jazdów neighborhood. The others were razed, over time, and the survivors also could disappear soon, if city officials’ plans to develop the site prevails over residents’ and preservationists’ efforts to save the enclave. For more about the fight to preserve the Finnish Houses, see Domki Finskie.

We discovered the gardens of the hidden Finnish houses via Warsaw-based design studio This is Paper, which recently used the Finnish houses as a charming set to showcase a line of gardening products:

Jazdow Warsaw Poland Finnish houses

Above: Photograph by Monika via Flickr.

All the Finnish cottages have steeply pitched roofs.

Jazdow Warsaw Poland Finnish houses

Above: Photograph via This is Paper.

A black Grocery String Bag made of linen is handwoven in northeastern Poland and also is available in white or natural; 20€ from This is Paper. (For more of our favorite string bags, see 10 Easy Pieces: Woven String Bags for Groceries.)

Many of today’s tenants are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original occupants.

Jazdow Warsaw Poland Finnish houses

Above: Photograph via This is Paper.

A Copper Watering Can is 60€ from This is Paper.

Jazdow Warsaw Poland Finnish houses

Above: Photograph via This is Paper.

A brass Mist Sprayer is 25€ from This is Paper.

For more of our favorite secret gardens, see:

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