With lifestyles and professional demands continually evolving, owning or living in a home as a long-term proposition is becoming less of a priority for many. This may seem to make owning or planning for a dream garden difficult and, for renters, not a wise investment.For those of you with a small outdoor space to plan for, there are many great design ideas and products that can allow you to design and create your own private dream garden that can move with you if required. That includes feature plants and pots, water features, screens, furniture and even garden walls. In fact, smaller courtyard spaces can be almost fully transportable apart from the floor surface and some larger, established trees.
Obviously, if you have a large space, then creating a portable garden will be difficult, and there are certainly many things you simply can’t do. The first thing I’d recommend is to create a small room or courtyard within the larger garden and focus your investments there. That way you’ll have a portable garden within a garden that can be moved if need be.Another thing to consider before we get started is that if you have a garden feature that you really love and are thinking of selling your property, make sure you specify taking it with you in your contract of sale and make it clear to all prospective buyers to ensure there are no arguments. Otherwise you could end up having to leave your prized garden feature behind.
So what garden pieces could you plan to take with you?
Feature plants and pots. Many plants can be potted, which makes them instantly portable. The pot itself is something you really need to choose wisely. First and foremost, it needs to be big enough for the selected plant in a long-term scenario and have a good watering system. Second, it needs to fit through an opening to the space. Finally, but most important, it needs to look good.The number and arrangement of the pots is another way to add your own design flair — whether you use three of the same pots in a row or a cluster of different-sized pots.
On the practical side, you will need to consider a few things: First, always buy premium potting mix, as your plant will perform significantly better. Second, always create drainage in the pot with some gravel in the base — install an irrigation or dripper system to ensure that the plants are watered regularly, as they can easily dry out. And finally, remember to keep feeding your plant with a slow-release fertilizer as recommended by your local nursery.No matter which way you go, adding a living green sculptural element will help enhance your movable garden.
Feature plants in the ground. If your space has a particular spot where a pot is not suitable, or you prefer your feature plant to be in the ground, then you can plant your addition in the ground right in its pot. I recommend buying a larger plastic pot and using a good potting mix. Then dig a hole, making sure it is twice the size of the pot and a third deeper, then backfill the hole to the correct depth with loose screenings for drainage and insert your pot to its height. Backfill the remaining space with screenings and top-dress with mulch. This will ensure that the plant does not get wet feet, and although the roots will search for soil and water through the bottom of the pot, they should not grow too deep and be too hard to move.When it comes time to move, you may have to trim some of the roots, and if you do, you will then need to trim the canopy of the plant by about one third. You should also keep the roots moist with a piece of burlap or some water crystals. Also remember to feed the plant with liquid seaweed or a similar fertilizer to minimize the transplant shock. There is definitely some risk with this process, and each plant variety will react differently, so please see your local nursery for plant-specific transplanting tips.
Water features. The market is simply flooded with great transportable water features. From water walls to urns to pieces of water artwork, a lot of water features are designed to be movable.Some can simply sit on a deck or paving, as long as it is level. Others you can build into a deck or dig into the ground, and you may choose to take the feature with you and leave the mechanics and base pond behind.
Water walls are a great way to create a backdrop, and the sound of the water is soft, subtle and calming. I’d avoid loud, noisy water spouts in small spaces, as they can become a little overpowering and annoying.
The simplicity of a classical urn with water slowly spilling over into a bed of pebbles is another fantastic idea. It can sit in the corner, in the middle or at the focal-point axis. The variety of pots available means you can complement home styles ranging from traditional to contemporary. Garden artists are on the rise and are creating custom pieces of garden art where water is the focus. You can really put your personality into the garden by selecting an artistic, one-of-a-kind sculptural piece of water art.
Hanging baskets. Whether it hangs from a tree, a pergola or an outdoor structure, living green architecture, along with a splash of seasonal color, is a great way to add your personal touch — with the added benefit of its not being permanent.Plants such as Sedum morganianum ‘Burrito’, Dichondra argentea ‘Silver Falls’ and pathos ferns really make a statement and look good all year round. Irrigation is critical, as is the strength of the mounting point, as you need to consider the long-term weight of the plant and pot.
Furniture. To truly enjoy a garden space, you need to be able to spend time in it relaxing, entertaining and just generally living in it. Good-quality outdoor furniture can be an integral part of the big picture. It is also a great way to add your personal touch with pops of color, a splash of stylish decor or a chair or other piece that is an architectural feature.So if you are renting, are not permanently settled or are temporarily away for work on a long-term basis and you love gardens, plenty of tools and design ideas can help you take your garden with you when you move. Get creative, have some fun and think mobile.