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Rented House - Concrete garden

My family and I moved into a rented house with a medium sized back garden, it is primarily concrete (it has an L shaped patch of soil and some soil round the edges. The soil round the edges is full of roots from old trees and bushes while some of the border still has hedges and a fast moving climber plant.The rest is concrete, lots and lots of concrete.I will attach pictures tomorrow morning but I am looking for some advice on adding some greenery to the garden, preferably wildlife friendly but still allowing for a swing.

My initial thoughts are to lift a good proportion of the concrete, spread some soil and add some wood bark or grass seed. Along the L shaped patch of soil I can grow some vegetables  and some larger plants and /or trees along the border (after removing as much of the roots as possible.

As the house is rented I am looking for something with minimal cost, I don't mind spending the time but preferably not a lot of money.

Any ideas are appreciated...



  • Hi Lansy

    While you're waiting for the energy to remove concrete, why not try growing in pots? The larger the better, and you can grow more or less anything, including trees. (I have a lovely purple birch in a pot.) And you can take the pots with you if you move. Lots of veg will grow in pots too. My friend grows runner beans in a plastic trough that's about 20cm deep. The trick is to keep them well wateredbut not too soggy.

  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601

    Before you swing the sledge hammer, do check with your landlord that it is OK to remove the concrete and put down grass. My friend rents and she isn't allowed to dig, move or plant anything. 

  • Also I'd make sure that you have written permission to remove it from your landlord. Even if they have agreed verbally I'd get it in writing too just to cover yourself.
    We also live in a rented house and we have been allowed to do what we want on the one condition that we don't take up the lawn or patio area / shed image 

  • Ooops looks like Posy had the same idea as me in her response!  

  • IansyIansy Posts: 24

    Thanks everyone

    Permission in writing from lanlord so all good there, the garden faces east (every so slightly south east). 

    Regarding pots,I already have a few (blueberries,gooseberries,raspberries, potatoes, garlic, onion).

    Regarding family, yes I have a 2 year old and another on the way, so looking for  something to make it more family friendly.

    Soil is quite neutral, mixed in lots of manure when i first moved in (after removing all weeds and roots) so the limited soil i do have is good quality.

    Pictures tomorrow morning.

  • IansyIansy Posts: 24




    Few different photos of the garden + the climber

  • IansyIansy Posts: 24





  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,477

    Hi Lansy, 

    We also live in rented accommodation. It seems as long as we are improving the place, the landlord is happy. So far we have renovated the unusable 3 room basement and given the entire garden an overhaul! It is only adding value to the property at no cost to them, but written permission is a very good idea just to cover your ****. image

    You have a nice size area with great screaming and not too overlooked! Real potential! I also have a large concrete area, I've had to keep this as it is foundations for the extension. However we have made it pretty with a planter made from pallets and set up a seating area there.

    I always draw out plans first, these are always revised several times as minds get changed or due to helpful advice.

    Best of luck making your garden your own! image

  • WonkyWombleWonkyWomble Posts: 4,477

    Oops, that should have said great screening! image

  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,353

    You've got noise on the brain Wonks! image

    A good space there Iansy. I'd go with some lawn for your little ones and make a couple of areas for growing plants you like. You can use grass seed which is inexpensive but it'll be a little while before you can use it. Turf is a bit more instant. You can grow lots of things from seed - ideal if you want some colour - and we have a seed swap thread on the forum where others will offer you some bits and bobs to get you going. Plenty of veg from seed too.

    There are good bargains to be had in GCentres, nurseries and DIY places - usually later in the year. If you can get some decent sized perennials in pots at that time, you can usually split them adn get three smaller plants to grow on. 

    Hope that's a little help just now. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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