Maintaining Trees and Lawns

Two tips to remember if the garden of your rented property is in need of some landscaping

by Cherly Wheeler

If the garden of the property you're renting is in poor condition and could use some landscaping, these two tips might be of interest to you.

Use decorative gravel to disguise any eyesores around the garden

If you rent your home, then you probably cannot (and do not want to) do any type of major, expensive landscaping work that would radically and permanently change the appearance of the garden. However, this does not mean that you have to simply live with a terrible-looking garden. For example, if there are a lot of permanent fixtures in the garden that are eyesores, then you might want to buy a big bag of decorative gravel. This can be used to disguise a myriad of flaws; for example, you can sprinkle a layer of this over any crumbling, unsightly paving stones that were once used as a garden path or pour some of it over any exposed stormwater pipes that are peeking out from underneath the soil in the lawn.

The great thing about decorative gravel is that it is a temporary form of outdoor decor that is very easy to remove; so if, when your tenancy ends, your landlord asks you to get rid of the gravel you have laid over their rental property's exterior eyesores, you should have no difficulty doing this. All you will need to use is either a shovel or a rough-bristled sweeping brush, along with a large outdoor dustpan, to gather up the aggregate. You can then put this into a bag and take it with you to your new property, or alternatively, you can rinse off the stones and sell or give them to a landscaper or gardener in the local area.

Try to come up with a landscaping design theme inspired by the garden's existing, immoveable features

If there are things in the garden that you are not allowed to move or change but that are very noticeable due to their prominent position or size, then the best thing you can do is come up with a design theme that is inspired by these features. If, instead of working with these features, you choose a theme that you love but that clashes spectacularly with the garden's immoveable items, then this part of the rental property may end up looking aesthetically muddled and chaotic.

In short, it is best to embrace the current aesthetic of the garden (even if you don't like it very much). For example, if the garden already has a white wooden shed that has that distressed look because its paint is starting to flake off and the wooden panels are cracked, then you could go for a 'shabby chic' theme when landscaping the rest of the garden. You could, for instance, use an old tin watering can as a plant pot or add a few licks of pastel-coloured paint to some old wooden crates and use these as planters. Additionally, you could hang up some homemade hessian bunting around the garden's walls or fence. All of these suggestions are inexpensive to implement, and you can pick them up and take them all with you whenever you decide to move.