Help with London garden for rental

Looking for a few ideas... Lost here!

I've recently purchased a new property with the intention to live in. I have just found out that I have to relocate in a month for a 2-5 year contract overseas. 

When we first purchased, the garden was extremely overgrown and you couldn't even see past the back porch. I have spent the past couple of months just trying to get the garden cleared to when I can see what I have to work with. The clearing is finished but at the moment it's quite bare with a lot of mud/soil exposed due to digging, clearing and endless rain. 

Regarding the level of work that I'd like to do, I don't want to just keep it plain and boring as most rental properties are. I look at this as my home so want it nice but I also realise that most tenets won't care for it as I'd like. So where I'm stuck is how to keep the costs down and what to plant that will add a bit of a personal touch/cover the mud but also something that will take care of itself over the years and not go completely crazy over the years. to where it has to be cleared completely again. 


I've included a few photos so you can see what I have to work with. Please keep in mind that the garden was so overgrown when I first moved in that you couldn't even see to the back. 
















  • Looks like you've got the bare bones of what could be a really nice garden. I think I'd go for some more shrubs, preferably slow-growing, in the borders. You could make maintaining the garden part of the letting contract, but I don't know how enforceable that would be if you're not around to monitor it. Could you consider employing a gardener to look after it? Perhaps the cost could be at least partially included in the rent. Gardeners in my area tend to charge about £15 an hour.

  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,274

    I'd cover all of the bare soil with at least 4 inches depth of chipped bark to keep the weeds down and plant slow-growing shrubs as landgirl says.  For example, Euonymus are evergreen, come in a range of leaf colours, are fairly cheap and won't grow huge over a 5 year period, even if they are never pruned.

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,167

    If you are going to be away for some time, you will need a managing agent to organise emergency repairs etc. They will know of gardeners that their agency uses, they will also as part of their contract view the property from time to time, including the garden to make sure it is being looked after.

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