A rented garden can be a place to store bins, set up washing lines, and grow weeds between paving slabs. After all, it’s not your property, so why should you care? But there’s no reason you shouldn’t make the most of this precious outside space. You’re likely to be paying a premium for it, after all.
Think of it as an extra room in your home. A place to read, drink with friends, and host parties. Somewhere you can kick back and relax. Listen to the birds. Feel the sun on your face.
All you need to do is give it a little spruce up first. Here are six great ideas that won’t cost the earth. And you’ll be able to take most of them with you when you move on.
Look after the space
Yes, the property may belong to your landlord, but it’s yours to enjoy for the time being. A little TLC will go a long way to improving how your garden looks and how you feel about it.
Simple things like mowing the lawn and trimming back any overhanging branches will make the garden look better and give you more room to move around. Not to mention making it a nicer place to hang out.
It's easy to forget your patio and use it as a bit of a dumping ground for compost bags and other bits, but you can make it a strong focal point in the garden. Scrape out all the weeds from the corners and brush the moss from the concrete or flagstones with a patio brush. A quick wash down to finish, and the space is transformed.
Plant in pots
It’s understandable that you might be reluctant to put down roots – both literal and metaphorical – in a rented property. But there’s an easy solution! Put your green thumbs to work in freestanding containers instead. They’ll add colour and life to your garden and you can take them with you when you move.
Mix and match what you plant, creating a bit of diversity. Why not plant colourful flowers in some and edible herbs in others? And arrange the pots in groups so the planters become attractive focal points themselves.
Make the most of your space
Rental gardens are often small, but that’s no reason to avoid gardening. You just need to get crafty and adjust your perspective. Think vertically instead.
Use freestanding containers to plant climbers like honeysuckle or clematis that will happily wind their way up fences, railings and exterior walls. Get a slim trough that will fit the space and plant a miniature salad garden. Add small but eye-catching accessories, like hanging plants, outdoor rugs or lanterns. A little imagination will go a long way.
Give it some personality
One of the easiest ways to give your rented garden a little personality is through accessories and colour. Hang some bunting. Install a few key (preferably foldable) pieces of furniture, like a bistro set. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your garden feels more inviting. Incidentally, a chic picnic blanket and some throw cushions will just as easily do the trick if you don’t have a furniture budget.
But one of the most dominating features of any garden is the fence. If yours has gone beyond what a climbing plant can disguise, a coat of paint or a new wood treatment will take it from drab to fab in no time. You’ll want to get your landlord’s permission before making any changes, but for the price of a pot of wood stain or some well-chosen paint, you can brighten the space, protect the wood, and give the whole garden a new lease of life. Invest in a paint sprayer and you’ll transform the space in a matter of hours.
Lighting transforms a garden, adding instant ambience for very little work. Our favourite way to add glow to a garden? Hanging solar-powered string lights. Candles are another great option. A few tealights or pillar candles in clean, empty jam jars are chic and cost-effective. Or up the sparkle ante and invest in some hurricane lanterns.
You may not have a working fireplace in your home, but there’s no reason you can’t have a firepit in your garden to keep you warm on summer evenings. Pick one that does double duty as a BBQ – it’ll come with a mesh grill – and you’ve got somewhere to cook a sausage too. Just ask your guests to bring the marshmallows and before you know it, you’ve got a party.
Make storage a focal point
You can never have enough storage – both inside the house and out. So, a large, weatherproof storage box or small garden shed can be an invaluable place to store all kinds of odds and ends. There are plenty of compact designs that are slim enough for even the smallest of gardens.
If you love to entertain, why not add a few shelves to a storage unit and create a cocktail area? Better yet, install a wooden garden bar and make your garden the place to be! Store bottles and glasses, arrange comfortable seating nearby and you’re good to go! Al fresco fun all summer long.
But if you share your garden with bins or other unsightly bits of rented life that you can’t control, take a deep breath. You don’t have to live with it, you can hide it! An expandable artificial ivy hedge is durable, versatile, and requires absolutely no maintenance. Put it up and let it work its transformational magic.
So there are six of the best ideas to help you make the most of a rented garden. Your landlord will be delighted that you’re taking an interest and you’ll have a whole new area to enjoy and entertain friends and family.
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