Helsinki's green oases: 9 allotment gardens

In Kumpula allotment garden a small white gate underneath a white, wooden archway, leads into a beautiful allotment garden in full bloom, surrounded by tall hedges and trees. In the foreground are large flower bushes in blook and at the end of tha path is a small white hut.
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Allotment gardens started to appear in the city in the early 20th century to help workers relax and revitalise. These shared gardens still offer garden community members a chance to escape the ruckus of the city. The areas are open to all in the summertime, with lively events such as Midsummer celebrations and karaoke.

The floral bloom of the gardens is a sight to behold from the sandy pathways crisscrossing the garden plots. The outdoor spaces with their swings, meadows and benches can be enjoyed by all. The typical visiting hours are 7am to 9pm. 


The Marjaniemi garden – known colloquially as Marjis – is beloved by its garden residents as well as travellers arriving from far. The active villagers throw flea markets and exhibitions and the kids love their dance camps and sports days. Marjaniemians love to take it easy and gardeners can easily spend a full day lounging in a hammock. 
Marjaniemi Allotment Garden (Virvakuja 6, Vartiokylä)

A kid is relaxing in a pink hammock, hanging from a tall v-shaped tree located in a green and grassy allotment garden
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The Swedish-speaking garden heaven in Ruskeasuo has reached the tender age of 100. Taking a stroll here feels like a journey to wonderland. Many garden cottages are in their original condition – slightly crooked or overgrown with vegetation. The colour code is a full palette of hues, from the house paint to garden decorations. The enchanting atmosphere is further accentuated by a lack of fences, giving a feeling that the plots have melted together. The main gates are open 7am-9pm in summer. 
Brunakärr Allotment Garden (Nauvontie 1, Ruskeasuo)


The Tali garden is orderly and peaceful. Its thick-trunked ancient apple trees are perfectly pruned and almost every yard is lined with sharp and neat lines of raspberry bushes. Although it is tidy, uptight is not a word that describes Tali. Many yards keep their little gates open: a code that says 'welcome'. The Midsummer parties are a source of pride and also attract visitors from the nearby districts of Pajamäki and Munkkivuori.  The main gates are open 7am-9pm in summer.
Tali Allotment Garden (Pitäjänmäentie 32, Pitäjänmäki)


The sea of colourful cottages stretches out as far as the eye can see at the Pakila allotment garden. The compounds resemble a village in Central Finland. The association running the garden requires that gardeners follow the planting guidelines, yet no master gardener's certification is required. The locals take pride in their communally-shaped green areas and the outdoor film and karaoke evenings. The sauna brings even more joie de vivre, it is enjoyed also by residents of the adjacent Klaukkalanpuisto garden, as well as travellers.      
Pakila Allotment Garden (Pakilan rantatie 2, Pakila)


Directly facing the Pakila garden, another botanical wonder opens through the opposite gates. The Salvianpolku path crosses the area through identical red houses on both sides. The area is compact, idyllic and uniform. The clubhouse advises gardeners on the importance of composting and recycling. The communal spirit reaches its summertime peak with the annual dart competition and community play.  
Klaukkalanpuisto Community Garden (Pakilan rantatie 1, Pakila)


The Herttoniemi garden is the most urban of the nine Helsinki allotment gardens. The atmosphere is on the wilder side as the colourful bushy area stretches alongside the metro line. The sounds of Eastern Helsinki float in the air and the nearby sea brings a charm of its own. The hilly garden area is dotted with plots that are all one-of-a-kind, often with personal touches on the plot gates, in some cases hosting more art than plants.  
Herttoniemi Allotment Garden (Kipparlahdensilmukka 3, Herttoniemi)

Viewed from above are the Kumpula allotment gardens where two paths intersect and carry on diagonally to the top left and top right of the image like a cross. In between these paths, dozens of allotment gardens with large huts are arranged in neat rows, the whole area is surrounded by trees.
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The buzz and whizz of cars on busy Mäkelänkatu shuts off the second one steps inside the fences of the Kumpula allotment garden. This dream of green is like a vision from films depicting American suburbia. The paths are lined with rose bushes and the lawns are trimmed to perfection. The garden has clearly seen some time and money spent on it, but the feeling remains laid back. Perhaps one reason is the adjacent outdoor public swimming pool, which offers  a cooling break amidst the busy gardening. The main gates of the area are open 7am-9pm in summer.
Kumpula Allotment Garden (Kalervonkatu 1 a, Kumpula)


Situated in the district of Vallila, this bohemian allotment garden dates back to the 1930s. A visible trend can be seen in the collection of sculptures erected in many yards from little gnomes to buff Adonis figures. In spite of its storied past, the garden hosts a younger community than elsewhere. It is not uncommon to see toddlers getting their first taste of plucking weeds. The so-called Strawberry Path grants access to a time capsule – a museum cottage – every summer Sunday. The main gates are open Monday-Saturday approx. 7am-9pm in summer.
Vallilan siirtolapuutarha (Elisabeth Kochin tie 1, Vallila)


Oulunkylä's residents can enjoy a soothing sauna experience with direct access to the cooling Vantaanjoki river. The garden community was formed in the 1940s and is currently undergoing a generational shift. Older residents are delighted to hear the shrieks of littler ones. The animal-friendly community has a flock of chickens that parade  around the yards and sometimes a one-day-only restaurant appears on the premises in honour of Restaurant Day. The main gates are open Monday-Saturday approx. 7am-9pm in summer.
Oulunkylä Allotment Garden (Myllypellontie 6, Oulunkylä)

Standing at the end of a beautiful Kumpula allotment garden, a small path leads to a white hut, a green lawn to the left of the path and various small bushes and trees to the right of it. A small tree stands in the allotment garden in the middle of the lawn.
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The floral bloom of the gardens is a sight to behold from the sandy pathways crisscrossing the garden plots. The outdoor spaces with their swings, meadows and benches can be enjoyed by all.