Living in a rented property may mean you’re reluctant to invest in cultivating a beautiful garden that you might have to leave behind if you move. It’s something we understand after moving around a bit in rental properties between 2012- 2020.
Not having our own garden to plant became a real downside - especially for Claire.
We were fortunate to rent some properties with really big gardens that were great to enjoy but in all honesty they sometimes felt a bit overwhelming and Claire took solace in tending to her collection of pots and containers.
In this article, Claire answers some common questions about creating wonderful portable gardens and shares some top tips you can try for yourself.
When you start to do your research, you might be surprised how many plants you can successfully grow in pots. Over the years I’ve grown everything from Hostas to trees, bulbs and evergreens. In one property I used large wooden troughs to create quite large hedges that we could still take with us when we moved!
You really have to be creative with your thinking. Group pots together using wood to raise some higher than others creating height and interest to your display. I’ve even grown a stunning collection of small trees in individual pots.
The beauty of using pots and containers is that you can move them around the garden, allowing you to see what plants favour different positions in the garden and changing the look of the garden throughout the year. Don’t forget climbers too - there are lots that will happily thrive in a pot.
I created some lovely displays using flower bags attached to wooden fences to bring colour in, whilst solar fairy lights are another great addition.
We have always had a dog which meant another level of creative planning - we successfully used very simple ranch fencing to stop lawns getting damaged unnecessarily.
There are two main things to be aware of when creating portable gardens.
Use nice big pots so that plants take time to outgrow the space whilst they are big enough to retain water. The other is to think about keeping them warm in the winter. Whereas shrubs planting in the garden will usually be fine with some garden fleece or other first protection, plants in pots may also need protection for the roots. You can use garden fleece, newspaper, or even move the whole pot to a sheltered spot that is safe from frost.
Hostas are a personal favourite of mine. I love their size, colour and often get a little hypnotised by the way they take in water when it rains or when you’re watering them. They are just so perfectly designed by Mother Nature!
You might be surprised to know that I had a wonderful collection of hostas in pots which created a lovely green space. I popped the larger ones at the back and smaller at the front.
When you’re planning a portable garden the same rules of planting apply - just using pots.
Hopefully this article and the pictures have given you some inspiration that, just because you're renting that doesn’t mean you can't have a lovely garden and beautiful outdoor space.