So, you’re renting a home and the rented garden you’ve ‘inherited’ is a little dull.. You want to improve it.. You’re itching to exercise those green fingers.. But, surely that would just be throwing money down the drain?
First, you need to know what the law states; should you indeed upkeep the garden in your rented accommodation or can you leave it to rack and ruin?
Well, the standard clause (an Assured Shorthold Tenancy) will usually dictate that you must keep a rented garden litter-free, tidy and not allow it to become overgrown. Furthermore, you must leave it in the same state it was when you moved in. Although you’re expected to keep it looking reasonably tidy, you’re not expected to carry out any tasks that require particular horticultural precision.
To make any gardening improvements to your patch, you would need to obtain permission from the landlord. When considering improvements, you may also ask yourself ‘is it worth the investment?’ Plants don’t take kindly to being uprooted, so once you plant something, it’s going to be happiest left undisturbed. So it’s highly likely you may move home and leave a beautiful horticultural legacy for the next tenant - good karma, but a little heartbreaking too.
Here at Bloombox, we’ve often wondered how to overcome this. How can we help those that rent to create a beautiful garden? Step forward our sneaky solution: plant up your favourites into containers, and formulate a unique ‘mobile garden’! Not only can you take your plants with you when you move, but you also have the freedom to shuffle them around mid-season if you want to change the look of your garden. Like a living jigsaw!
Containerised plants make the most sense when placed on the patio or deck. However, there’s nothing to stop you popping the odd accent plant amongst an already established border if you want to refresh it with some of your flair, but without committing it into the ground. Many bedding and patio plants can be grown easily in a range of containers, from upright patio pots to window boxes and hanging baskets. However, shrubs and small trees will need a little more thought.
Growing shrubs and trees in containers can be done, but you’ll need to follow a few simple rules:
Bear in mind the eventual size of your shrub - it will command a larger pot than most bedding, and should dry out less often. However, don’t over-pot, move it up one size pot at a time.
A good soil-based compost such as John Innes No. 3 is recommended, and you can keep it economical but making up a garden soil and John Innes mix at a ratio of 2-1.
Without access to all the nutrients in open ground, you may find your plants need more regular feeding. Particularly when planting up, add a granular general fertiliser and water-retaining granules (to cut down on watering), and feed at regular intervals throughout the summer.
As with feeding, make sure watering is regular and plentiful. Just because your container is outside doesn't mean it will benefit from the rainfall either. For any rain to enter the small exposed gaps of soil around the side of your plant is quite a tall order! Water by hand as often you can!
You can use some flair when you choose your containers too, nowadays there are a myriad of styles to choose from. You could go traditional with terracotta or take a more modern slant with zinc or a polished marble effect. Ultimately, if you can find something with the desired effect, it’s always better to choose a lightweight plastic or fibreglass container. This will ensure ease of moving the container around when the time comes, and will keep the pots in good condition and intact, even through the cold frosty months.
And of course, don't forget that you can make any outside space beautiful with a Small Plants Box from BloomBox Club, which come with their very own planters, and everything you need to create your own transportable green beauties. You even get a new boxful every quarter so your garden (or doorstep!) can look green all year round.
Are you a plant lover just like us? Do you like sharing your love for plants with the whole world!? Tag us on Instagram at @bloomboxclub and receive an exclusive discount! Just slide into our DMs and we'll make sure you get looked after. Plant love is life! xx