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In the house and garden of Dagmar Frühwald


House Little Red Riding Hood

By boat to America. Or a house with a garden. Before this decision was my beautiful great-grandmother. Her choice and the generosity of her husband made possible the “House of Red Riding Hood” and his garden. 

When I could read, I was amazed at the name on my great-grandmother’s house. In beautiful bright letters on a dark red background. “Red Riding Hood”. A fairy tale. Little Red Riding Hood set out to give his grandmother strengthening gifts, and, contrary to his mother’s warning, left the path he known. His innocence made it seductive for the offers of fate.

When I think of my first visit to the Little Red Riding Hood, I hear the dull sound of the spoon in the porcelain bowl full of sweet whipped cream and red strawberries. Strawberries from my great-grandmother’s large strawberry bed. Sometimes when I think of her, I see my great-grandmother behind her big old stroller, in which she pushed home all that did not grow in her garden from the place. On such days her big cat returned to the “Haus Rotkäppchen”. For a bowl of milk, a chicken head and two chicken feet. Lace teeth, red tongue, flat ears. He always fused as soon as he saw me. There was no way to think about petting.

Sometimes I waited on the bench at the bottom of the street for my great-grandmother to return. “Every day he went by tram to Vienna.” My great-grandmother spoke of her husband. “Back then there was a stop at the bottom of the Goldeck*1. Here, on this bench, he has always rested. He also died on this bench. A heart attack. Shortly after the war.” I knew about my great-grandmother’s husband that he was not my grandfather’s father. Knew that he spoke many languages, bought almonds and coffee in many countries, tasted immediately, even if only once in a teapot coffee had been served, and that he had taken a rowing trip from Trieste to Venice.

Back on the bench on the street corner, I also learned that my great-grandmother and her husband had a son, Herbert. That he was born when my grandfather was already an adult, that he was hidden in the house during the war. When I heard why, I realized why there was an old wheelchair with a tube-mesh seat in the attic, and why I slept on wheels in a white large iron hospital bed.

“There were Russian officers living in the house. Nothing has ever happened to me. The Russians like children and I had a sick child.” I didn’t really understand what my great-grandmother was talking about. Nor why her father chased my grandfather’s father out of the house when she wanted to marry him. But I understood that my great-grandmother would rather talk to me about it here and not in the house. Somehow, I found at the time, her old life was messed up. But now it was fine. She was my great-grandmother, had a beautiful garden and lots of vegetable beds. Only her cat was not nice, but was afraid of humans and was dangerous.  

on the ground floor

My great-grandmother lived on the ground floor and slept there in the former dining room of the house. Almost everything in this room is made of pine wood. The table, the credence, the cot, even the wall cladding. My great-grandmother cooked on an old large brick stove. After her purchases it smelled mostly like vegetable chicken soup. The entrance to the rooms she lived in is the main entrance of the house. During the summer weeks, I often waited impatiently for the large heavy wooden door to finally open. My great-grandmother liked to sleep for a long time. It was usually already lunchtime when she ate her breakfast bread on the veranda. She coated a thick slice of bread with butter, pots and apricot jam, cut it into strips, then stabbed her with a pointed knife and let the bread bites disappear in her mouth. So very different from my grandmother. She also liked to eat pot bread with jam. But with her on the first floor, a knife should never have found its way to her mouth.

In the summer nights of the early seventies, in the pine wood room, I learned that it is very easy to sleep very long if you can stand up to the national anthem and test image in front of the TV.


“The chickens had to be carried out of the basement every day,” my grandfather said. “They usually didn’t see daylight until noon. Even then, your great-grandmother liked to sleep for a long time.” This was long before I was born. I didn’t get to know the chickens or the tame goose, because my grandfather had given up his piece of Christmas goose roasts.

The house plan of 1932 did not design the cellar rooms as a chicken coop, but for storing fruit and vegetables and as a laundry room. This is confirmed by the clay soil, the drain, the concrete basin and the copper boiler even today.

in the mansard

But it wasn’t just a large part of the basement that was dedicated to the house plan as a result of laundry care. Also the so-called mansard, the roof floor. The largest room there was the rolling and ironing room, the cabinet the laundry chamber and the attic of the dry floor. I already knew as a child that women used to have to spend a lot of time designing and caring for textiles. My grandmother told me about her wedding pillow for her grandfather. In the year between her engagement and marriage, she had spent many hours embroidering this pillow, and during that time had probably thought a lot about my grandfather, about the future life with him. Nevertheless, I was amazed that, according to the plan, a third of the house was intended for laundry care.

However, this spatial planning was soon overtaken by life and world events. My grandfather’s half-brother spent the war years in the room under the roof. Later, my grandfather slept there. Sometimes we looked from the balcony of the former “roll and ironing room” through its homemade telescope at the Saturn ring and into the lunar crater.

In the 1st Floor                                                                                                                                                         

As summer guests, my mother and I slept for several years in a large old birch-wood double bed on the first floor. According to the plan of 1932, the room in which the bed stood was actually intended as a bedroom. Night after night, my mother qualified as a gel hunter. From armchairs, she reached the ceiling of the room with a fly clapper. Every morning, new blood spatters on bright wall paint testified to the success of their nightly use. I was glad when my grandfather had constructed framed gel seper grilles long before something similar was available on the market. In the meantime, decades have passed since then, I can sleep with the balcony door open. Not only the bees, but also the gels have become few.                                                  

In the seventies, the small room next to the bedroom became the most modern of the house. A fitted kitchen was accommodated here. With running water, a hot water tap and a modern gas stove. Finally, my grandmother no longer had to carry cooking and washing water through the house. Since then, apricot jam has been boiled every year in mid-July. A corresponding amount of this fruity spread was important for all the morning pot breads and as a Christmas gift for my hard-to-give father. On the morning of the marilla cooking day, my grandmother sat on the balcony very early. In front of you on the table three large white bowls. Two empty, one filled with ripe apricots. Using a sharp fruit knife, she separated the fruit from the seeds. If the full bowl was empty, pulp and seeds were split between the other two, followed the procedure in the Küche.An such a day was really clean in the kitchen. The tea towels were boiled and jars, lids, cooking spoons like grippers remained untouched by bare hands until the jam was bottled and sealed in jars. This summer day in July I loved spending time with my grandmother in the hot kitchen. And the jam bubbles that were bursting with the pot wall tasted even better than the jam itself.   

Planned as a summer resort, ovens in the “Haus Rotkäppchen” were only available in the three largest rooms. In winter, the house remained uninhabited and unheated. Its two balconies look northeast. Thus, the temperature in the house remains pleasant even during very hot days. The three older houses on the street are facing northeast. The three newer houses, for a life with winter and pleasure in summer sun to the southwest.

As long as the world was still as at the time of its planning, the “House of Red Riding Hood” stood empty during the cold season. But soon after the war began, this changed. The people who used to enjoy the summer here survived the winter in the “Haus Rotkäppchen”. And so it remained for many decades. Until the life and death of its inhabitants left the house to itself.

Now I live here. Not only as a holiday guest as in childhood. A medical diagnosis, a new body feeling, the independence of my now adult daughter brought me here. It doesn’t bother me that I do things slowly. In the house Rotkäppchen is time. The time of now and that of the former.

The past is quite figuratively available. Thus, old rotary and less old toggle switches divide the walls. Light, it can be turned on, it can be switched on. Both are possible in the “Haus Rotkäppchen”.

Furniture, things and objects

A white wooden cabinet with arabesk cut out, with glass-deposited surfaces, white veranda furniture of my great-grandmother, the heavy sofa bed coated with rootwood funier. Furnishings I know from my childhood. On the two heavy wooden chairs with armrests, which I appreciate so much with my new body feeling, sit a delicate woman with grey-white hair and a man with a white mustache, both dressed in black. The photo shows my great-great-grandparents visiting their daughter.

In the “Haus Rotkäppchen” some pieces of furniture have survived far longer than a human time, objects have been kept beyond their initial attractiveness and documents have been preserved beyond their topicality.   

Beautiful vases, smoking utensils, my grandfather’s record cameras, his many cassettes with radio recordings, old letters, my great-grandmother’s cuckoo clock, her husband’s business correspondence about the quality of almonds and coffee, walking sticks, calendars with My grandmother’s daily notes, calendar with my mother’s daily notes, wedding photos, holiday maps, world war i.e. maps with long-invalid boundaries, the extendable brass earpiece, the fine yarn in five shades to plug valuable Nylon and perlon stockings, the violin built by my great-great-grandfather, damaged in unbridled moments, and this umbrella with a hunting dog’s head handle, its snapping lower jaw, falling at the thumb pressure, allows a woman to passant a Lace handkerchief drop.

The electrical household appliances still prove themselves without “planned obsolescence”. I use the stand mixer from the fifties, the stick mixer from the seventies. They will effortlessly survive further years of operation. I will fall back on the decorative cream quirl of the early thirties as well as hand-operated flashlight in case of power failure.

Some items from the collection of long-preserved items now occupy a place of honor. So my grandmother’s tea service. It is hard to reach in the kitchen on the top shelf. Perhaps one of his cups was never drunk, perhaps not eaten by any of his dessert plates. Wrapped in paper, wrapped in cardboard, it had been on a journey for years before resting in cellars for decades. As a child, in rare moments, I managed to look at the jug, one of the cups, one of the plates, two or three times. What I saw I liked. Strict shapes, bold colors. My grandmother had liked this service at first sight. Several times she passed the display at Ku’dammin Berlin. But it was just too expensive. Until the day the first bombs fell on Berlin. The entire inventory has been released for sale. My grandmother got the service, packed it, and instead of offering tea to my guests, I tell his story.



Robert Alwin Schlumberger Edler von Goldeck (b. He was released in Stuttgart, Germany. † 13. He was an Austrian sparkling wine producer and entrepreneur.

In the house and garden of Dagmar Frühwald   


The garden

The geometry of the two old box trees had become sloppy. Strong trunks protruded from the dense fence hedges. The grass grew at the feet of high meadow stalks.     He had been left to his own devices for a long time, the garden around the “House Of Red Riding Hood”.  When I came to stay, cultivated and wild plants shared the length, width and height of the garden. That is still the case today. But I know the names of the trees that have grown out of the bushes, I know about the variety of the basket-flowers that adorn the high meadow.

“This garden still has its old structure. It’s not broken,” said the friend of a friend – a specialist in gentle renovation of old houses – explaining, “Such a garden raises the value of a house.” An old garden raises the value of a house; I hadn’t heard of it before, but I remembered the joyful words of a walker to her friend. “This garden is almost like my grandmother’s garden.” The walker was stopped and looked through the gate grille. What had awakened her memory? Was it the small gnarled apple trees or the two box trees that grew into large boxes? Was it the way to the fountain with a rusted hand pump or this old gardens of their own, harmony of becoming and passing?



Spring brings flowers  

summer the clover*1

As a child I rarely experienced the flowering of the primroses, violets and celestial keys in the garden around the “House Red Riding Hood. Finally, shortly after the start of the holiday, I found between the dark pink flowers of the Wiesenkleeshis four-fiedred lucky leaves and harvested sweet fruits in the well-kept strawberry bed of my great-grandmother last. My great-grandmother taught me that these berries are best, bedded on one of their large leaves, ripe and red. Every day she arranged them on her green papers.

I liked the summer world of adults in and around the “Haus Rotkäppchen”. Everyone enjoyed their activities in the house and garden.

I, too, found one important task: insects. Insects attracted my attention. Their gift for metamorphosis, their existence under, on and above the earth; within a lifetime. I pondered whether butterflies remember their existence as a caterpillar, whether a beetle, after all these years as an engerling, remembers the smell of the earth. Again and again I experienced the vulnerability of these beings in my house and garden and made the decision to help them. Supplied flightless hungry butterflies with ripe fruit or honey water, rolled out the trunk of weakened animals with a thin stick to let them reach the nourishing sweetness. Due to unexpectedly low temperatures, i carried bees, bumblebees and wasps into the warm room. Beetles with bloated bellies swam under my supervision in cool chamomile tea and injured insects I protected from attacks by ants. Ant soldiers, on the other hand, Freed me with tweezers and magnifying glass from the jaw toggles of a dead enemy. The biggest challenge, however, was to protect my protection orders from ant traps and the use of Vandalspray.

Autumn brings the grapes,

winter the snow*2


My great-grandmother had leased her vineyard to a family of winegrowers and as long as my year was not divided into school and holiday season, I took part in the grape harvest. Today, I wonder whether my memory of that time actually dates back to the second half of the twentieth century. The adults cut the ripe grapes with large scissors from the vines and threw them into wooden buttes on their backs. We children put the grapes cut with small scissors in small pots and pulled several times a day, fully loaded, the horse cart from then on. Unlike in the surrounding vineyards, the rows of vines in my great-grandmother’s vineyard were still close together, the tractor had not yet taken over the work of humans, animals and ploughs. So I got to know the big old shaggy man and the huge horse who came to plough every year. I was allowed to accompany them on their way through the rows of vines. Through “Hü” and “Hott” I understood that man and horse had to be careful not to leave the middle of the narrow track. “Before, when he was young, he was wild the Poldi,” the horse was called, “and treaded after me,” the big old man told me, “I grabbed his leg, put myself on it and didn’t let go any more; until he stood.” “Well,” I pondered, “if you hear again and again that Baron Münchhausen has ridden on a flying cannonball, you can come up with such an idea. Why not?” I also learned about the hedgehog, who waited every night for a few sips from the beer bottle and then walked drunk through the stable. After the work was done, the man always spoke to my grandfather. Mostly it was about his time with the cavalry in the 1. World war. “First the horse and then the woman!” I heard him explain to my grandfather. Unfortunately, I cannot remember my grandfather’s answer to my question, what does that mean.


As a child, I had experienced gardening as a joyful and meaningful activity. Today, my gardening ambitions sometimes become suspicious to me. When plucking the flowering weed, which I had already met half a year earlier in the same place, when ants try to save their computational brood, but at the latest when winding an earthworm under a shovel led by me, then this is Idea of the possible nonsense of my actions to certainty.

In the past, the summer trail led from bus stop to house along dry cornfields and in hot light flickering meadows, the arrival in the shady garden of my great-grandmother was refreshing contrast. Today, the meadows and fields have given way to then lawn-covered gardens, the heat lacks their flickerover over ears of corn, the cornflowers are missing next to the waiting areas.

“A garden is a demarcated piece of land where plants or animals are cared for.” First sentence at Wikipediaunder the corresponding keyword.Do not all the plants and animals pushed to the sidelines in cultivated gardens need special care? Could my garden offer them these? Could I perhaps follow up my efforts at that time with the distressed insects?

One possibility in this sense would be to allow it to be granted. More to leave than to do. “Some plants, some insects take six years or more to develop,” I learned a few years ago in a seminar on “Edible wild herbs on the roadside”. A piece of information that helped me with my plan to leave. With the hay of the long meadow stems that had grown over the summer and cut in autumn, I surrounded a circular area. At least this should remain unaffected by gardening. In its middle a dead cherry tree. Overgrown by ivy, it is the only green leafy tree in winter and probably the most conspicuous wood in the garden. Only it preserves rainless branches during the strong autumn and spring storms.

Such standing dead wood is described as particularly valuable ecologically, as biotope wood.

... Wasps, bees and beetles depend on dead wood. … Deer beetles need dead trees, their rotten roots, because they are necessary for the development of their larvae that linger under the ground for up to eight years.” This internet information and especially the deer beetles flying in the garden for a few years with magnificent antlers confirm my decision to leave the dead cherry tree.

“For ladybugs,” reads a technical article, “deadwood is a winter quarter.” But many of the ladybugs set in the garden around the “House of Red Riding Hood” follow instead of visiting dead branches, a rather young tradition of their ancestors. On late, warm autumn days, they stand out in their hundreds against the bright blue sky, landing as flying points on the walls of the house and reaching, through window frames and window sashes, curtain waves and room corners. They come and they stay to hibernate.                                                                                       Almost simultaneously with them, the jaw bugs visit the house. These insects look back on an even shorter tradition in the “Haus Rotkäppchen”. It was not until the 1950s that they reached the east coast from the west of North America, then crossed the Atlantic on ships, and arrived in Europe around 1999. Neither dangerous nor harmful do they hardly bother me. As long as they are well. For if they are stressed or die of an unnatural death, remembered in an article dedicated to them very sympathetically described, the smell of pine needles, apples or lemons secreted by them. Sometimes I think about how the Indians have handled this high number of strangely fragrant winter guests. Very few of them survive the long winter months. Those who survive fly the spruce on the left or the fir to the right of the “House Of Red Riding Hood” in spring. 

Both trees, spruce and fir, were planted by my mother in 1939. The spruce grows on the grave of my great-grandmother’s dog, who died at the time. He must have been quite like a wolf, because he and my mother, who was seven years old at that time, who liked to wear a red headgear to all that abundance, were considered by passers-by to be the namesakes of the house.

High up between the branches of the spruce sat one day my then ten-year-old daughter Valerie. Halfway up the tree. A good seventy years after its planting, this meant this, at the height of the roof truss. Her father had raised her to the lowest branch, I learned after a terrible night out. From there, the branches growing spirally around the trunk would have shown her the way up. “I,”m.,” Valerie said, “climbing up the tree counterclockwise and clockwise.”           Higher than the top of the spruce, the crown of the fir rises. Some estimate their age to be well over a hundred years old. “At least,” I recently heard a walker say, “four hundred years.” As the Troyt fir, which it is, it can even grow twice as old and, according to archaeological findings, if there may have been this, the Trojan horse could have been made from the wood of such a fir. The Troy tanneneben of the “Haus Rotkäppchen” now counts over eighty Lenze, is about forty meters high and would thus already be too big as a Christmas tree for the Viennese Christmas market.

Unlike my daughter, who liked to climb tall trees, I liked the proximity to the ground as a child. How much I regretted moving away from snail houses, three-, four-, or five-leaf clover leaves, plant seeds, iridescent beetle wings, insect eggs, and so many other wonderful tinynesss. Today, my difficulty in standing for a long time brings me closer to the universe of small things. Low stools placed in the garden allow me to see similar to the one in childhood. Sitting now, I look at sections of the earth’s surface. This is all about waiting and letting go. Which animals come, which ones linger, which plants arrive and which location do they choose?

Every two years, the white umbels of the wild carrot crown the high summer meadow of the “House of Red Riding Hood” and provide insight into the finesse of the plant. A small black dot, which is a single dark flower, pretends to be a small beetle. Signals to the flying insects to participate in the good taste of this flower arrangement. Last summer, stems and leaves of the Wild Carrot remained close to the ground and the one-year-old herb adorned the high meadow. At first glance, it is reminiscent of a very tall daisy. Arriving in Europe as an ornamental plant in the seventeenth century, it is soon feral and now widespread. In its original homelandNorth America has always been known as a medicinal plant, it also had its importance here in case of illness. His name berufkraut goes back to the word “invoke”; called in the sense of “crying, bewitching, cursing” and was used in suffering as a result of black magic. Today it receives little attention, is even perceived by many garden owners as weeds.

Berufkraut and Wild Carrot share the meadow around the “Haus Rotkäppchen” with green actors such as Beifuß, Wegerichen and Brennnesseln. To people who know about them, they are always ready to unfold their healing effect. After a juice mix of garden herbs, I wonder why, in order to stay awake and become fidel, I resort to coffee. If the meadow plants are green, I share my preference for them with caterpillars and snails, they carry flowers, my gaze rests on them next to butterflies and bumblebees. I declare one of the numerous places chosen by a meadow plant to be their place of honour. Some remain, others choose a different place for their place in the following year.                                                                                                                 “Putting trees,” a garden friend put it, “is an investment in the future.”

In recent years, storms have brought down some rotten branches of the old fruit trees. The time has come to think of the fruits of later years and to plant young trees. My daughter’s fondness for sweet pears, as well as the memory of the lines of text quoted by my grandmother about Mr. Ribbek von Ribbek from Haveland*2, “He knew exactly what he was doing when he asked for a pear in the grave,” made me put a pear tree. Then Valerie brought two apple trees dumped in the trash room of a supermarket into the garden. One of them already carries thirteen large red apples after two hot summers. On the recommendation of a friend from Afghanistan, two small mulberry trees found their way into the garden. The hardy pomegranate tree is supposed to fulfill the longing for the fruits of Mexico one day and the connection to the region is kept by a bathing vineyard peach. The newly planted trees stand not far from the trees, which were introduced to me as a child as old and rotten. Were. Both apricot trees, the hollow walnut tree, the small apple trees planted along the middle path, they had all been planted soon after the completion of the house. And as long as my great-grandmother lived, none of them had a branch sawn off. She forbade it; Strictly. My great-grandmother didn’t think anything of rejuvenating the trees by cutting back their branches, instead looking for branch forks in the forest and hallway. With them the heavy branches of the fruit trees were supported. I liked this garden installation. And when, many years later, I saw the corresponding paintings of the painter Dali, I recognized them again, the vegetative standing aids that make it possible to find balance. I understood my great-grandmother, understood that she wanted to preserve the grown shape of the trees. And I still reap the fruits of the old trees. The principle of “leaving” has proven itself in the garden around the “Haus Rotkäppchen” for a long time.

*1There was a mother who had four children … Children’s song/folk song


*2Mr von Ribbeck on Ribbeck in havelland of T, Fontane 1889 https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herr_von_Ribbeck_auf_Ribbeck_im_Havelland

Youtube; Mr von Ribbeck on Ribbeck/Young poet sundator ,                                                                                                

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