rental garden on budget design plan

Romantic Flower Garden Design for a Rental House on Budget Christian homemaking country living fashion blog


The gardener must have a plan. But the plan can be “I am craving violas”. Yes, let the flowers romance your decisions. As winter suddenly turned into spring this year as of March, I found myself longing for a long-lost friend, those first blooms of spring during my childhood up North. Violas would appear and then we knew: spring was here.

rental garden on budget design plan

Yet for many years I valued them little. I didn’t think they were worth my time or attention in a romantic garden full of more saucy flowers, showy and brazenly gorgeous. Especially since they are the first blooms of spring and do not last long. But it was the humble viola, the small and delicate cheerful face of spring that beckoned me this year. I longed for their happy smiles peeping up from the ground in purple and yellow, so unpretentious, so simple, so sweet saying: spring is here.

rental garden on budget design plan

Then I realized that my viola craving is a good lesson in garden design.

In a world of feeding off of other people’s ideas and what they are implementing, you need to dig first into your own garden experiences, your own responses to plants, your own good or bad feelings about things, and take into consideration your own climate, your own soil, and your own budget. Gardening inspiration is good unless you are formed and shaped by someone else’s opinions instead of forming and shaping your own.

Every gardener has different taste

So as much as you take in other people’s tastes, recognize when you have a different taste about the color of a flower, or mixing certain colors, or what plants actually appeal to you versus what other people like. But at the same time, expose yourself to gardens. Take it all in. Learn the names of plants in your area and devour the possibilities by reading gardening books, magazines, watching shows, or talking with local gardeners. And always be taking note of what most inspires you.

rental garden on budget design plan

Let’s talk about the reality of the garden expense

This rental house had a severe deficiency of flowers when we moved in last year, almost as severe as my deficiency of funds to remedy it. My plan of action has spanned two seasons, as last year I invested in a few larger items like roses and hydrangeas planted in pots for the courtyard where we sit. The only other flowers I purchased were wildflower seed packets directly sewn into the soil. This year, I am doing the same thing except I am buying a few cartfuls of the least expensive flower starts ready to be transplanted, instead of buying a few larger items. (I might buy one more rose and one more hydrangea if the funds present themselves). Then carrying on with planting wildflower seeds and adding in zinnia seeds, which were the least expensive options for flower seeds.

You need good soil to grow things

Unless your rental property has been tended by an avid gardener, your plot may not have had the soil amended. Gardening is 75% creating beautiful soil by composting, adding in manure and soil that is hauled in, then you get to plant things and watch them grow.

I have hard as cement clay soil on my rental property. It would take years upon years for me to add enough compost and manure to change it, and by then, we will be living somewhere else.

Garden Design makes the Difference

If you want a garden now and not in 5 years after making good soil over time, and if you have very little money to invest in your rental garden, then the garden design will be of utmost importance. Since you will have to buy the soil to garden, carefully choose a couple small but prime locations that would have the most visual impact for flowers to be.

beautiful country summer home outdoor garden design

I created a couple small garden beds in ground, no pavers for delineation or anything because there was zero money for that feature. I dug the grass out with my shovel and filled these areas with soil from the garden center (I buy the cheapest soil and try to get the sales) and then I stuff those small locations with flowers. To fill in other empty places in and around our courtyard where we sit, I use large pots with my bigger plants like roses and hydrangeas. But the fact is, when you have to buy the soil to garden, you will have to garden in reserved smaller areas to keep down the cost. This is not a bad thing when you choose the best locations for these gardens. Ours sit in front of the courtyard, where everyone passes by this area to go sit. Then you can see the garden beds from where we sit. I strategically placed these small garden beds to be our prime view and though they are small, they are impactful.

If your rental house does not have adequate indoor space or proper lighting to do seed starting, that is a potentially more expensive route and more inconvenient route.

You may be better off investing in soil as I said, and direct sewing into the ground some quick to bloom varieties, or plopping in flower starts from the garden center. Mind you, buying flower starts are only cost effective in the flower varieties that cost the least. The bonus of any perennial such as the viola is that they can reseed depending on your climate, expounding on your one-time investment by giving you abundance each year. Then, I splash out on just a few bigger items to fill things in.

rental garden on budget design plan

The best plan for your romantic flower garden is to make it just that – romantic to you and for you right where you live.

I never planned on having a potted garden but in my particular neck of the woods and due to our nomadic life, it has been a main way to garden. Buy the flowers that make your heart sing and that thrive where you live. One of the most romantic things about a garden is when it thrives easily without a lot of intervention. Sew inexpensive wildflower seeds that thrive there. Don’t bother with anything that struggles to survive in your climate, as it might get sick and die on you and that is not romantic. Buy flower starts that are well on their way to filling things out and that make the spring garden come to life.

And remember those flowers that are beautiful to you no matter how small or unheralded by others. Let your flower cravings build your own romantic garden.

You visit the earth and water it;
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide their grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.

Psalm 65:9-10

"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things." Philippians 4:8 Blogging about country living, homemaking, fashion and decor tips with a penchant for all things princessy, Barbie

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