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A renter’s guide to gardening

Are you in a rental but still dream about keeping a beautiful garden? Well, one of the most frustrating things about renting is that you can’t make big or permanent changes to the property without the owners consent. That includes things as simple as planting a new tree or even hanging a picture. 

As part of many rental agreements, it is expected that the occupant maintains the property to the standard it is on day one and this usually includes the gardens and lawns. But this takes time, effort and water all for something that ultimately may be left behind.


Potted Plants

Planting a plant or tree in the ground is a waste, not to mention potentially in defiance of your rental agreement. And let’s face it there isn’t much point in spending money nurturing plants that you won’t be able to take with you when you leave. What’s the solution? Well, of course, pots. You can have your plant and keep it too!

Using pots gives you the opportunity to get creative with sizes, shapes, and designs. If you’re in an apartment, choose plastic or fibreglass options to minimise the extra weight and make sure you consider your aspect. If your balcony is a hot pocket, you’ll need to choose drought tolerant plants with lower water requirements. Likewise, a completely shaded balcony will need an equally suitable option.

On larger properties, consider larger feature pots and plants to frame doorways or entrances.

Topiary plants in bright colours, unique or statement pots are a perfect option for placing beside your front door to make a lively entrance. Use in pairs for an even bolder statement! Your pot or planter choice can be an expression of your personality!

Everybody loves fresh herbs right? Well, a combination of pot sizes and shapes placed in volume make for a  perfect makeshift herb garden and when they’re in easy reach of the kitchen, you’ll be far more inclined to use fresh produce in your cooking!

And the good news is, when your rental period is up, pack them in the truck and take them with you!


Key points when using pots in your rental garden:

  • Choose the right pot for your space. Small balconies, choose slimline troughs or lightweight plastic.
  • Choose the right plants for the aspect. Is it a suntrap or completely shaded? Do you have access to a water outlet and is there adequate drainage? 
  • In large spaces, choose a large, bowl or tall urn to effectively fill the space.
  • Consider hanging pots if floor space is restricted.
  • Don’t limit yourself to the outdoors, potted plants indoors are a great inclusion.

Raised Garden Beds

Another great solution for a rental garden is raised garden beds. Modular, screw together options are easy to assemble, require small volumes of soil and can be easily removed at the end of your lease. These garden beds can be installed in existing garden beds, in a grassed area or even in a paved area.

They make perfect vegetable gardens or even just simple flower beds. Remember, at the end of your lease you might need to make some slight repairs such as lawn patching or high-pressure cleaning. You should also take precaution with drainage, ensuring there is adequate fall or a way for water to escape.


Artificial Turf

Are you dreaming of a green lawn but only have a patio to play with? Well, what’s better than a lawn? One you don’t need to mow… and your neighbours will be happy you’re not out on your balcony mowing it every Saturday morning that’s for sure. Adding grass (even if it is fake) will give the area an undeniable garden like feel.

Artificial turf has come a long way since your younger years of playing cricket on a fake grass-covered concrete pitch on a hot summers morning. With long piles, mixed colours (blue & green hues) and even brown under thatch incorporated, you can hardly tell the difference!

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