*Collaborative post. Contains affiliate links.
Earlier this year we moved into our first house, which meant for the first time ever, we had a garden. This was exciting for everyone; the kids could have outdoor toys, the mister had space to tinker and I could finally unleash my obsession with plants into the outside world. Up until now, we had always lived in flats, so this was a big change. Having a rented garden is the next best thing to owning our very own dream house and garden, so we really wanted to make it a beautiful outdoor space that worked for us as a family.
Of course, what with our house being rented, we are still considerably limited with what we can do to our garden. For example, to grow our own vegetables, we need to buy in compost and plant our crops in pots. We can’t simply dig a flower bed along the side of our garden; that is something that the landlord would definitely object to. So we have had to get creative and come up with ways to turn our little rented garden into our very own sanctuary.
I have spent a long time pondering the best ways to do this. I thought I’d put all my ideas into one blog post so that other people who also have rented gardens could get a little extra inspiration, just in time for summer.
No grass? No problem.
Lots of homes have paved or concrete outdoor spaces. Although these can work for some, others will be pining after those green spaces, especially if you have kids. If this sounds like you, AstroTurf is your new best friend. No need to water it, no need to feed it and, best of all, no need to mow it! Artificial grass is easy to maintain and simple to lay down in your outdoor space, whether that’s a garden, a balcony or a small patio.
You don’t need flowerbeds to have outdoor plants.
Some rented gardens come with beautiful flower beds already, but if like us you find yourself with just a stretch of patchy grass, potted plants will brighten up your rented garden space immensely. We have a small patio area which we have more or less filled with a variety of potted plants. Earlier in the year I talked about growing our own vegetables and since then, we’ve added a few more flowers and a mini greenhouse to help our plants along a bit.
TIP: When buying a mini greenhouse online, always double check before clicking the ‘buy now’ button. Some listings contain only the PVC cover, or the cover and the frame, but no shelves. The affiliate link above is for the mini greenhouse that I have and it came with a durable cover and shelving units.
You can have hanging baskets without having to drill into your fences.
One of the best things I discovered while searching online for ways to spruce up my rented garden was these no drill fence brackets. I bought a pack of four and they are absolutely brilliant. You simply hook the brackets over the fence and hang your flowers as normal.
Hanging baskets always remind me of growing up in Cornwall, so when I discovered I could fill my rented garden with them without damaging the concrete poles that hold the fence up, I was absolutely thrilled. You can buy hanging baskets pre-planted, or you can buy the basket and lining separately (usually cheaper) and fill them with the plants of your choice.
The same goes for bird feeders!
Turning your rented garden into a space that encourages wildlife into it is so rewarding and satisfying. We have spent hours watching the birds in our garden since installing bird feeders on a couple of our over the fence brackets. We’ve put them as high as we can and filled them with a variety of different bird foods in order to encourage as many different garden birds as possible.
If you don’t have fences, these bird feeding stations can be staked into the ground (or put in bases for grassless rented gardens) and can hold loads of different types of bird feeders.
No matter what type of outdoor space you have, there will be some amazing outdoor lighting to suit your needs. For our rented garden, we’ve opted for solar ladybird lights which we picked up from ALDI. They’re attached to our fence and they’ve really helped to pull our whole patio area together. You can also get strings of solar lights and lights that stake into the ground.
If solar lights aren’t your cup of tea, candles in jam jars scattered around can add a wonderful ambiance to your rented garden.
No matter how big or small your area is, there’s bound to be room for some kind of furniture. We would be lost without our reclining sun lounger seats. Every morning we come outside and have a cup of coffee in the morning and watch the birds – something we wouldn’t be able to do if we didn’t have outdoor seating! There’s such a huge variety of garden furniture for outdoor spaces of all sizes, so finding something that suits your garden shouldn’t be too tricky!
If you don’t have a budget for furniture, a big old throw blanket and some cushions looks cosy and inviting and won’t leave you out of pocket.
Look after your fences.
If you have a small rented garden, pruning over hanging branches that rest over your fence will instantly make your area look larger. With your landlords permission, a lick of paint or some wood stain can transform dull fences instantly.
If your landlord is opposed to you painting or staining your fences, climbing plants in pots, such as sweet peas or honeysuckle, do a great job if disguising older fence panels.
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So those are my top 7 tips for turning your rented garden into a mini paradise you can enjoy come rain or shine. If you have any more tips that you think should be included, please do leave them in the comments!