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How to Temporarily Transform Your Rented Garden Without Losing Your Deposit

How to Temporarily Transform Your Rented Garden Without Losing Your Deposit

Making a rented space your own can be tricky when navigating your landlord’s rules. Permanent changes inside a rented property are often off-limits, and unfortunately, the same rules apply outdoors.


The good news is that whether you have a garden, yard, or balcony area, there are plenty of temporary solutions to transform your rented outdoor space that shouldn’t affect you getting your deposit back at the end of the tenancy. Read on for our complete guide to temporarily improving your outdoor space, where you’ll find:


10 temporary tips to transform your rented garden

1. Hang garden mirrors to make your garden look larger

Primrose estimated time: 5 minutes to put up


Adding a garden mirror to your outside space has many benefits. For example, if you have a smaller garden, placing a mirror to reflect greenery and flowers adds new dimensions and makes it appear larger. Mounting a mirror in a well-lit area will brighten and warm other darker areas.


You can also choose different-shaped mirrors to the style you’re going for. Try an ornate, burnished gold mirror to create a Bridgerton-inspired Royalcore garden, or a light blue, rustic shuttered mirror for a French aesthetic.


Bear in mind that you should be cautious about the placement of the mirror, as any birds passing through may be confused and fly into it, causing injury. You should also avoid placing your mirror in areas where intense sunlight can reflect and damage plants and other ornaments you may have.

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2. Bring a new lease of life to old paving with a jet washer

Primrose estimated time: 1-2 hours, depending on the size of your garden


Jet washers are a brilliant way to bring a new lease of life to your garden. If your old paving is looking a little worse for wear and is covered in dirt, algae and other grime, use a jet washer. Pressure washers cut through the dirt and remove stubborn marks easily, leaving your outside area looking good as new.


Buying a jet washer outright will be more costly than hiring one. You could be looking to spend over £100 on a decent pressure washer, whereas you could rent one for a weekend for £65. You should weigh up whether it’s worth buying your own if you intend to carry out regular maintenance, or whether you’re looking to clean your paving once in a short-term tenancy.


3. Add colour and vibrancy with DIY painted plant pots

Primrose estimated time: 30 minutes (or less if your plants are pre-potted)


Potted plants are one of the easiest ways to add some colour and vibrancy to your garden, as well as attract some buzzing black and yellow friends. Some of the easiest plants to grow include sunflowers, sweet peas and marigolds.


Choose plant pots that are easy to paint, like matte or plain terracotta ones, so you can repaint them when trends change and you want to mix things up.


4. Grow your own with portable vegetable planters

Primrose estimated time: 1 hour to add soil and starter plants


Growing your own vegetable plants brings many benefits to your life – as well as being a relaxing hobby, you have access to fresh veggies, healthier ingredients and a cheaper food bill. There are many vegetables that can be grown in small planters such as tomatoes, peppers, green onions, lettuce, and radishes.


Growing vegetables in planters means you don’t need to make permanent changes like installing a garden bed. Portable planters that can easily be moved or taken with you to your next property are ideal when you’ve invested time and money into your vegetables.

garden plantergarden planter

5. Opt for a solar-powered water feature that doesn’t require permanent installation

Primrose estimated time: 30 minutes to assemble


Just because you’re renting a property doesn’t mean you can’t have a water feature in your garden. Mobile, solar-powered water features are often self-contained and come in all kinds of styles and designs.


Not only can solar-powered water features save on your energy bill, but you don’t have to worry about installing them permanently with a constant water supply. As these types of water feature rely on solar energy, you can just place them in a sunny spot in your garden.


6. Use suction hooks to put up colourful hanging baskets

Primrose estimated time: 30 minutes (or less if your baskets are pre-potted)


Hanging baskets are an easy way to make your rented property look much more attractive without causing damage to your outdoor walls or fences. Containerised plants are non-commital and don’t need planting into the ground – you can move them wherever you want on your property, as well as take them to the next place you live in.


You can hang your baskets up without drilling by using S hooks, suction hooks, or adhesive wall or ceiling hooks.


There are plenty of flowers you can grow in hanging baskets too (or artificial plants, if you would like minimum upkeep), including ferns, petunias, begonias, fuschia and pansies.


7. Hang string lights to create ambience during garden gatherings

Primrose estimated time: 20 minutes to hang up in your garden


Light up your rental property with string lights, a low maintenance and simple way to add ambience and mood lighting. You can use these to light up a walkway or entrance, hang against fencing, feed through balcony rails, or accentuate property features.


String lights are incredibly easy to hang up – you can even find solar string lights for areas that are too tricky to connect to the mains.


8. Invest in a privacy screen to make your rented garden feel more homely and secure

Primrose estimated time: 2 hours to ensure your screen is properly secured


Creating privacy in your garden can help your rented property to feel more homely and secure. While the property may not belong to you, it’s nice to at least feel like you don’t share your outside space with neighbours or those passing by.


There are many temporary garden screening options you can take to gain privacy without installing permanent features or causing any damage. Decorative screening rolls can be attached to existing garden fences or walls and can also achieve extra height. You can also use screening rolls to hide undesirable areas, such as where your outdoor bins are.

garden screeninggarden screening

9. Lay down artificial turf with joining tape to create temporary greenery

Primrose estimated time: 1-2 days – a bigger job that might require an expert


If you have a yard or balcony that’s paved with concrete and are looking to add a bit of scenic greenery, then artificial turf is ideal for you. Low maintenance and attractive all year round, installing artificial grass is easy to do, although you might want to hire a  professional, which will cost extra.


To temporarily install your artificial grass, use joining tape to join the grass, rather than glueing it down. You should only use a small amount of glue around the edge of the area, leaving gaps for drainage. Just make sure you don't apply too much as it will also make the artificial grass difficult to remove.


10. Dine al fresco, even with a small garden, by choosing bistro seating

Primrose estimated time: 3 hours to assemble your dining set


Bistro sets are classic options for rental homes for many reasons. These dining sets are small and compact (they’re usually designed for couples), requiring little space in your garden. Bistro sets can also be folded up and put away when moving time comes. You can enjoy your outside area without getting huge garden furniture that may damage the grass or be difficult to install and remove.


Aluminium or galvanised steel are the best options for outdoor furniture as they are strong and durable against the elements, including being more resistant to rusting than other materials.


No outdoor space? No problem

Not every rented property has the luxury of a garden or a yard to beautify. Even if you only have a small balcony or balconette to work with, there are still plenty of ways to make the most of it.

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5 tips to revamp your rented balcony – even if you don’t have much space

1. Opt for a mini greenhouse

Primrose estimated time: 3 hours – time for assembly then arranging your plants


When renting property, you don't want to invest money on an expensive greenhouse or a structure that could cause damage. Mini greenhouses are great choices for tenants with limited outdoor space, including a balcony, as they can be placed against the side of a wall without causing any structural problems.


Mini greenhouses can be made from polyethylene plastic sheeting for the glazing, or are simply a smaller version of a full-sized greenhouse. Both fit neatly without taking up too much space.


These greenhouses can be great in growing greens, herbs, and other small crops. You can grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, aubergines, oregano, rosemary, sage, thyme, and more!


2. Choose lightweight folding furniture that’s easy to store

Primrose estimated time: 3 hours – make sure you’ve assembled correctly!


If you have limited space on your balcony, opt for folding furniture that you can bring out when the weather’s good or if you have company – perhaps for a morning breakfast or evening drinks.


Because you’ll be storing your furniture when it’s not in use, you don’t have to worry about the most weather-resistant option. Choose a set that’s lighter and easy to move around and put back away in a cupboard – aluminium furniture is a lightweight but durable choice.

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3. Invest in a stylish swing chair

Primrose estimated time: 1 hour to assemble


A small garden swing seat, like an egg chair or hanging chair, can add something new to your balcony in a compact and efficient way. You can place this somewhere among climbing plants, hanging baskets and flowers to create a relaxing and beautiful place to relax.


Choose between metal or wood depending on what sort of style you want. Powder-coated steel chairs are weather-resistant, plus wicker-style swing chairs are incredibly durable.


4. Choose fabric or artificial plant screening for privacy

Primrose estimated time: 2 hours to secure screening to your balcony railing


People who have balconies often don't make the most of them, which is understandable, given you don't want your neighbours to see you relaxing in full view.


Screening is an excellent way to make your balcony feel more private. It’s easy to remove and take with you when your tenancy ends, so you can use it in your next property.


There are many different materials and styles you can choose from. Artificial screening is great for adding greenery to balconies without requiring much maintenance. You could also try a fabric option to add colour to your balcony temporarily.


5. Opt for bright hanging baskets to liven up your balcony

Primrose estimated time: 30 minutes (or less if your baskets are pre-potted)


The same rules apply to balconies as they do to gardens – hang up some real or artificial hanging baskets without drilling by using S  hooks, suction hooks, or adhesive wall or ceiling hooks.


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Real life story: Transforming your rented garden on a budget with @diylynne 

Lynne’s amazing garden renovation hardly took her any time at all – and was extremely low budget!



before garden transformationbefore garden transformation
before garden transformationbefore garden transformation


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Her TikTok video shows each stage of her transformation, but we asked Lynne for the behind the scenes details of how it was done:


How long did the whole renovation take?

‘The whole renovation including finishing touches took about two weeks, (but I kept adding more flowers during the summer). I had new paving slabs laid to cover up all the mulch (with the landlord’s permission). I also added bamboo fencing for privacy. The rest was adding lots of plants and accessories that I’d picked up over time.’


How much did it cost?

‘It cost around £200 for paving, stones and fencing. I spent around £200 on plants and pots. This year, I have painted old pots to give them a new lease of life. My chairs were a bargain from eBay and they have lasted well. Accessories like the mirror were second-hand from Facebook Marketplace. An outdoor rug covers a multitude of sins - the one I have was from B&M and was £10.’

What was your favourite change or the one thing which you thought really transformed the garden?

‘Small touches like painting the side gate grey made everything feel a lot more finished. I added solar lights everywhere to make it sparkle in the evenings.

The paving slabs and stones made the biggest difference as they made the garden feel more organised and finished. Buying lots of pots and flowers made the garden feel more like a garden, plus they are easy to maintain, and I can take them with me when I leave.’


Read more gardening stories and news from Primrose, including the UK’s favourite garden baby names plus our visualisation of how climate change could impact famous gardens around the world.

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