How to garden when you rent: top tips for gardeners who rent — and what to buy according to tenancy length

Why garden if you’re renting? You’d be creating value for someone else if it wasn’t your home. It might be, but would it be wise to cut off your nose here? Matthew Pottage is the garden curator at RHS Wisley. He also rents in Fulham. He says, “We are the ones who have the garden to look at all day.” He adds that he decided to start gardening the space even though he didn’t know how much time it would take. People often say that they will start gardening when they have something. But in London, that might not be possible. You still have the space to learn and experiment in. Pottage shares his knowledge from a decade of gardening and renting in London in his new book, How to Garden When You Rental. These are his top tips for green-fingered renters. Your landlord might be hesitant about you making semi-permanent garden changes. Pottage recommends that you use containers. Pottage recommends inexpensive annual bedding plants like petunias or begonias for quick colour. They are easy to grow, readily available, and look great right away. They are easy to plant, readily available, and look great immediately. Pottage suggests the classics like cosmos, nasturtium and the climber Spanish flag (Ipomoea lobbyata) as well as the less common spider flower (Cleome hassleriana). They will be available for rent from November to November in London, starting in spring. Geum ‘Totally Tangerine” and red-hot pokers, (Kniphofia), put on better and bigger displays every year. You can easily divide them, so you can leave some behind and bring some with you when you move. If you have the space, you can grow perennials in the ground. You can also plant them together in large containers. Matthew Pottage is a Fulham garden curator. Keep them informed and send photos when there are any changes. Most landlords don’t like digging so you won’t be allowed to make any changes. There are many ways to work with what you have, rather than making major changes. Pottage says, “There is some soil left in the garden, where a tree has been planted and some small shrubs that we will take with us if we move.” Pottage claims he spent approximately GBP100 on plants he couldn’t take with his. “It’s very mean-spirited to take everything with you when you leave. He says it’s like moving house and removing the light bulbs. If you feel unfairly evicted you might decide that a scorched earth policy is the best option.