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How to make the most of your outside space

Posted on August 8th, 2015 by admin

Being in a rented home doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of your outside space. Here are a few simple steps, for landlords and tenants, to creating an oasis.

Nearly 40 per cent of London is public parks and gardens. That’s 5,000 acres of verdure amid the urban sprawl, making London one of the greenest cities in the world. Sometimes however, you just want to be able to kick off your shoes and enjoy the summer sunshine in the privacy of your own garden or balcony.

While London’s parks and gardens have dedicated teams to keep them looking at their best, it can often be a struggle to keep a small patch of garden or balcony looking nice. Cutting the grass, watering and weeding can feel like endless tasks especially if you only have the weekends to do it. Plus, as tenants, you may be disinclined to spend too much or put too much effort into something that isn’t yours. As a landlord too, you’ll be looking for low-maintenance ways spruce-up your property’s outside space and make it desirable to tenants.

Properties with a decent-sized garden need to plan out low-maintenance planting that will look good all summer with little effort. Shrubs such as Buddleja, Hibiscus and Hebes will flower prolifically all summer long without requiring any attention. While Phormium and Cordyline add structural interest to a border. Underplanting with bedding plants will give a summer flush of colour and take up the space that weeds would otherwise claim. No summer garden would be complete without the leafy boughs of trees, but it’s unlikely that, as a tenant, you will be allowed to plant trees in the garden. Not to worry though, silver birches, Eucalyptus and fruit trees such as cherries and plums are perfect as keeping a compact root system while still reaching a decent size. For landlords they make a great, low-maintenance addition to the garden and for tenants, they are perfect for growing in a pot.

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In fact, as a tenant, you may be reluctant to spend money on plants for a garden you may only enjoy for a few years. That’s why your best friend will be pots you can plant-up, enjoy and take with you when you move on. Whether you have a garden or a balcony, pots of all shapes, sizes and colours can be arranged to transform a dull space to a verdant rainforest.

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For a small space, choose a scheme of two colours that delight you, for example cerise and yellow as a vibrant combination. Homebase’s tall Moderna planter is inexpensive, a good size and lightweight, planted with a Hawaiian Hibiscus or Hypericum Hidcote for example will bring a touch of the tropics to a dull balcony when grouped with other pots of yellow Crocosmia and Echinacea purpurea. Accessorise with seats, cushions and candles and relax. It’s an instant wow for a balcony that will only need watering to keep it looking good.


For larger space, choose a scheme of four or five colours that delight, for example hot colours such as red, orange, cerise and yellow and group, either in the borders or in pots, creating a pyramid shape with the taller plants to the back. If the garden has a lawn, then regular watering and mowing will keep it in shape. If you have an area of hard landscaping such as decking, gravel or patio slabs, you can decorate this space with your pots and seating. It’s important to remember that while the set-up will take a little effort and cost, you are creating a private oasis that will bring you delight all summer long.

If you would like more styling advice on how to make your outside space wonderful for summer, simply make contact and we’d be delighted to help.