People who rent a property are always in a bit of a dilemma about their garden. Landlords may stipulate that the garden must be left in the same state in which the property was rented, or that it must be returned to that state before you leave. They might state that you are responsible for keeping the garden in a good state and that they will or will not provide the tools for you to do that. Or they might let you do what you like with it, as long as the changes would be viewed as an improvement, particularly if you are a longer let.
We're in a situation where we are hoping to be renting for as short a time as possible, so we need to leave the garden exactly as we found it. This is what it looks like:
We have a square of lawn at the front,
and a square of gravel at the back.
This is clearly a low maintenance garden, but here's the thing:
- It looks horrible and dull and boring.
- I like gardening and growing things
- This really isn't a very inspiring place for the children to play.
I'm going to come back to how you can garden in a rented space in a future blog post, so for the time being... how can we make this a better space to play?
Over the winter months it hasn't been much of an issue. When they've played outside the children have just wrapped up warm and ridden their scooters or pushed the prams up and down the concrete paths. As the weather warms up though, they are going to want to spend a bit more time outside.
Given that we are hoping to move as soon as our house in Scotland sells, we don't want to be installing a playhouse or large play structures (the house a couple of doors down has an entire playground in the garden), because everything will have to be moved.
Here are my thoughts:
- put up a tent for a couple of days every couple of weeks, or even better...
- make a teepee - if I bought a whole bunch of old curtain fabric from a charity shop this could be quite inexpensive, then just requiring five wooden broom handles at £2 each and some time at the sewing machine.
- get hold of some unwanted bits of plank or pallet and create some roadways for toy cars
- use scrap wood to make some small houses to dot around the garden (if these go okay they'll be appearing on my Sunbow Designs shop too!
- maybe get a rubbish scrappy coffee table and combine with a grow-bag tray to make a water or sand play tray;
- make a small wooden small world structure (rough design below) to house anything from dolls, fairies, dinosaurs or toy animals:
It doesn't sound much, but that's quite a lot to get around to doing at some point over the next couple of months, and could transform the garden into a much more playful space, where the children want to spend more time