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Small Rented Garden Inspiration!

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by toppington, Jun 1, 2017.

  1. toppington

    toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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    Am looking for a tiny bit of inspiration for the summer months. Sitting out in the garden is excellent, but can't help thinking that with some inspiration it could look a lot better.

    I rent a property with a teeny tiny garden. There are some restrictions on what can be done:

    - Plants can be put in the border, but must be easily removed (so nothing which grows huge)
    - No alterations to size of border (it's about 50cm wide)
    - Fences cannot have anything hanging on or from them (no hanging baskets/vertical planters)
    - No large structural alterations allowed

    And I also don't have much money to spare, so anything cheap and cheerful is brilliant (i love freecycle, and the freebies section on Gumtree!)

    The garden is north-facing but does get sun in spring-autumn. The main border gets sun most days from noon until around 6, and the pointy end gets the most sun!

    So far I have been planting a few small plants in the border but nothing major. I've got quite a few plants on the patio area in pots to cheer it up as it's quite plain - and also currently have a planter over the drain access manhole.

    Just wondering if you lovely people have any links to websites or programmes with information about how to cheer up rented gardens, or have any ideas of things which can be easily removed and are cheap, to make the space a bit more varied colour-wise, and happy?

    I am very much a newbie gardener and therefore would appreciate any tips or ideas at all! Thank you in advance!
     

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    • "M"

      "M" Total Gardener

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      Now, there is a challenge!

      :think2:

      Ok, my first thoughts are:-

      Re#1 - annual seeds can be bought in Poundland for as little as 39p a packet and now is the perfect time to sprinkle seeds of Wallflowers, Cornflowers and Sweet Williams. One packet of each and that "border" will be awash with colour next Spring. Because they are "annuals" it satisfies the "easily removed" point.

      My next thought was re the patio:
      A long trough (or two/three shorter ones) could sit on the paving parallel to the grass. As it gets sun through Spring/Autumn (plus with pennies needing to be prioritised) you could plant them with some edibles - again I would suggest Poundland for some seeds such as lettuce leaves, radish, rocket, Swiss Chard (all of which would even grow in a shadey spot!) or if the area get 6 hours of sun or more per day then you could consider tomatoes, peppers, spring onions, courgettes, maybe? Add a pot of basil between the troughs and you've almost got a meals sat there :heehee:

      The area where you have clumped your pots together could even house some grow bags - you could move the pots to stand either behind or in front of the troughs ;)

      While you can't make the borders any wider than the current 50cm (which is a really stingy border) there is no reason why you couldn't put plants into pots and put the pots on the border space. Some climbers do well in pots but as you can't have anything hanging from/on the fencing, simply attach/insert some rigid trellis into the pot or even bamboo cane "wigwams" to support any climbers (on the food front/penny saving theme, think peas/beans). For flowers, I see you already have one clematis, so you could have a row of them in different colours which flower at different times throughout the season. The best place I have found for reliable plants is Morrisons (other supermarkets are available :heehee: ) where you can buy climbers/shrubs for as little as £1.79 :thumbsup: I think Asda have something comparable.

      Do check out your local charity shops because at this time of year people often donate their excess plants.

      Also, if you get the chance, Boot Fairs can be a source of plants.

      I'll come back if I think of anything else.
       
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      • toppington

        toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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        @"M" thank you so much for this - amazingly comprehensive! I will be checking out lots of offers and all of your ideas, thank you very much!! ~the clematis is from Morrisons for £1.79 last year and the trellis is hanging off a nail which was already in the fence posts! if it's already there, why not add something which can be easily removed to it... :)

        I bought some seed earlier this year and already have some Tomato plants (free heinz seeds!) and chillies (free Wahaca seeds from a friend!) and have been interested in growing lettuces from a drain however the drain would need suspension from a fence and that's probably not too much of a good idea for me sadly.

        Thank you for all the excellent ideas though! :D:):smile::yay::hapfeet::hapydancsmil::ThankYou:
         
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        • "M"

          "M" Total Gardener

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          Do you mean guttering? Then it is still possible :blue thumb:
          This is the photo of one I planted (yes, attached to a fence) the other year. However ...

          CIMG0091.JPG

          ... if you look closely, you'll see it is the type with a flat bottom ;) e.g. you could stand it on the patio, maybe with a brick or two to raise it off the floor?
           
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          • toppington

            toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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            Whoops!!!! Yes, I do! Brain was not engaged when typing this, clearly!!! Sorry about that! Salad in guttering sounds fab but would need to find a way of putting it up off the patio or onto the other fence without making holes. There are a massive load of slugs and snails which love the garden and am sure would love munching their way through some nice fresh leaves! :)

            There was a bit of a problem during the week in the high winds as the blow-away greenhouse.... blew away! things were re-potted and hopefully saved, but we will see... !!
             
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            • shiney

              shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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              If you want some vertical growing you could put in some fence stakes (pointed, round thingies that you can hammer into the ground - see link) along your border and close to the fence. Then you can run plastic coated wire between them as supports. It's fairly simple to put some screws in the posts to wrap the wire around. I put four screws in around the post for each wire but two would be sufficient. Wind the wire around the posts and around the screws. Simples! :snork:

              Fencing Posts | Wooden Machine Rounded Stakes | Timber Tree Stakes
               
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              • "M"

                "M" Total Gardener

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                Good point, well presented :blue thumb:
                I've got a goodly number of the blighters here too ... but these are my salad leaves (planted in an old, rectangular, colander).

                CIMG0032.JPG


                I've given up worrying if the slugs/snails will eat them and sow with careless abandon where I can find a space - they won't eat *all* of them ;)
                 
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                • toppington

                  toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                  @shiney that is a most excellent suggestion! I will have a look into that and see what can be done.

                  @"M" - wow - that's brilliant! Am going to have a look through the old "freebie" places to see if anyone has any rusting or unwanted colanders to turn into planters! Certainly saves money on new things and recycles the old too! I wonder if slugs/snails don't like the metal and therefore avoid them? Interesting! :)

                  Thank you for your excellent ideas both of you!:ThankYou::dancy:
                   
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                  • "M"

                    "M" Total Gardener

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                    While you're at it, look for some bubble wrap to line metal containers with before putting your compost in and sowing your seeds :thumbsup:
                     
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                    • clanless

                      clanless Super Gardener

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                      I've a couple of 'hook over the fence' hanging basket brackets - they look good, are easy to move and no holes need to be drilled - got then off e-bay.

                      Container gardening looks the way to go. You can grow anything you like and take the containers with you when you move.

                      Lobelia grows really well in pots - I get all mine from a 99p packet of seeds from Wilkos - but too late to start from seed now - something to think about next year or get them from the garden centre now. For some reason the blue lobelia seems to flower more profusely than the pink/white variety :dunno:.

                      I've posted some pic's on this forum of my obelisk/hanging basket combo - three hanging baskets fixed inside an obelisk - all from my fave shop Wilkos. Again can be easily moved and replanted each year.

                      The other approach would be raised planters - but these are quite expensive.

                      As has been said - annuals in the border which self seed - I've some nastrurtium, candy tuft and cornflower - this will be the third year they have come up - with very little effort :phew: once they have been initially planted :blue thumb:
                       
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                      • toppington

                        toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                        @"M" - I've a bit of bubble wrap saved up for when I eBay things (just recycling it from other bits!) so that is a very good idea too, thank you!

                        Oh, @clanless Wilko is such a good place and I like it very much! They have lowered the price of their 50cm long trough planters to £2 so I am going to start off some salad leaves (50p for two packs of seeds at The Range!!) and am freecycling for some bricks to raise them up for a bit of height. Also if interest are a pop up planter there (similar to VegTrug but a triangular shape!) which is £6 but would raise plants up high and give a nice effect!

                        I acquired a small blow away greenhouse so started off some trailing lobelia and and dianthus a couple of months ago from
                        seed, which have come on very nicely! They will be going out this weekend hopefully!

                        @clanless with the annuals which self seed, can you just sow the original seeds direct in the ground to start with?

                        Thank you all again for the ideas, absolutely loving all of the excellent thrifty thoughts!
                         
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                        • shiney

                          shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                          Just a word of warning:- they aren't nicknamed 'blowaway' for nothing. You really need to anchor it. Either use the ties and loops that some provide to fix it to a wall, drainpipe etc. or, as we do, lay a paving slab on the bottom shelf. The plants can then go on top of the slab.
                           
                        • toppington

                          toppington Tiny garden, always on the cheap!

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                          I've already found this out the hard way!!! Heehee. the tip about a paving slab is a brilliant one - that should definitely hold it in place! I can't make holes in the fence or house wall so that will be the way to go - what a great idea, thank you @shiney :hapfeet::yay:
                           
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                          • shiney

                            shiney President, Grumpy Old Men's Club Staff Member

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                            If you get a very strong wind the uprights may lift out from the base so it's best to tie them to it. :blue thumb:
                             
                          • clanless

                            clanless Super Gardener

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                            Their seed naturally falls to the ground each year - so yes you can sow them directly - prepare ground, sprinkle on, lightly rake and keep watered :spinning:.

                            I tend to start them all off in seed cells - and end up with plugs. I do this for any packet seeds even if it says that they can be scattered directly onto soil because:

                            - I can keep them in the greenhouse - for shelter etc;
                            - they are all in one place - so easier to water;
                            - they are protected from 'Alfie' :cat-kittyandsmiley:;
                            - I may end up changing my mind and putting them in a different part of the garden or in pots.:dbgrtmb:
                             
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