Friday, April 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Go low-cost but bold with rental home landscaping

This lattice bamboo screen is lightweight and easy to attach to a fence to give lovely purple clematis a ladder that's easily detached later. SHNS photo

SH13C200YARDSMART March 25, 2013 -- This lattice bamboo screen is lightweight and easy to attach to a fence to give lovely purple clematis a ladder that's easily detached later. (SHNS photo courtesy Maureen Gilmer)

By Maureen Gilmer

So long as there’s a backyard outside your rental house, the door is open to creating affordable outdoor living spaces.

Many rental homes lack backyard landscaping or it’s dull and doesn’t reflect any personal style. To create a wonderful space in just one or two weekends, consider tips from the Small Budget Gardener for revamping your yard and adding comfortable summer-living areas outdoors.

To get the most from your efforts, focus on two equally important factors: First, make low-cost choices. Second, choose portable items, so you can take them to your next house.

The most affordable patio makers are plain concrete squares known as “steppers.” The smallest ones are about 1 foot square and 2 inches thick and run about a dollar or so apiece. Larger 2-foot sizes can run about $3 each. Use them to create a new patio for under $100.

If you look at contemporary high-end landscapes, you’ll discover that those folks prefer to use nearly identical units to create greener porous paving areas. The steppers can be set edge to edge, or leave a gap for decorative gravel, grass or groundcover.

Create a fire pit for about the same amount of money using antique-looking concrete block tumbled in giant drums to make them look old. All over Pinterest are examples of how to create a fire pit by stacking these blocks just so. Some repurpose old washing-machine drums to hold the fire, surrounded by dry walls of block. Their weight is such that stacked creations don’t need a foundation or mortar. When it comes time to move, just unstack, load up and go.

Do not overlook paint and stain. They can turn worn-out wood fences or sheds into something truly delightful. Often, fencing at rentals is a hodgepodge of wooden slats, but a can of stain can unify the spans via subtle color. Water down latex paint to make it more like stain in your favorite color. Or if you’re looking for a lovely cottage garden, use whitewash to transform an everyday look into a clean and tidy background.

A wall trellis is easy to make with scrap twigs — or simply buy a cheap wood and paint it. Some gardeners are recycling old screen doors, metal bedsteads and sections of old wrought-iron fencing for wall treillage, too. These flat panels stand against walls to allow vines to climb up for a beautiful vertical garden. Best of all, you can simply detach the trellis and take it with you.

Big annual plants are always the best choice for rentals. You can grow them from seed or buy them in low-cost six packs to make your summer-living spaces look nestled into the landscape. The most powerful plants are big, burly sunflowers. Use in a patch or row or as a single specimen. Hollyhock is another great choice that leaves you with a whole crop of seeds for next year. Cosmos, foxgloves and all the amaranths are easy-to-grow choices.

As always, containers are the best way to grow anything more long-lived, such as dwarf fruit trees and blueberries. The larger the pot the more powerful it will be in greening up rental spaces with big plants that will go elsewhere when you do.

Learning to garden as a renter is a great way to save money while improving your lifestyle. Even the smallest spaces can be incredibly rewarding when transformed with these ideas.

Scripps Howard News Service

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Old friend helps Brad and others find kidneys

By Dave Jones | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Chuck Rairdan joins school board race

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

Davis United Methodist Church, Holmes Green Team leaders honored

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Need a new best friend?

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
‘Hitchhiking’ dog looking for new home

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Online K-12 school holds info night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Volkssporting Club plans North Davis walks

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Schwenger lawn signs available

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A4

Volunteers needed for Grad Night

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis grad makes rain collection a business

By Jason McAlister | From Page: A4 | Gallery

A few spots left on history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Chipotle fundraiser boosts Emerson tech upgrade

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Event to provide nature scholarship

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Students have new options on leasing front

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

Author discusses memoirs of Appalachia at The Avid Reader

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
NAMI backers walk in Sacramento

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Food for the hungry

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

Groups join for a day of service

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

 
.

Forum

Early help is a great investment

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
More tax money? Answer the question

By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

 
UCD IS responsible for students

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

 
In search of great ideas

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Please keep the nursery open

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

Sharks double up Kings in Game 1

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1

 
Aggies lose a slugfest in opener at Riverside

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Fox coming to UCD; Riffle heads to Florida

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
DHS’ Golston goes full-bore on the diamond

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils show more life in loss to Mitty

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
DYSA roundup: Intensity has big week; 10U games dominate schedule

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Sports briefs: Aggies set the academic bar high

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
Pro baseball roundup: Susac sends Sacramento to a rare loss

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

.

Features

.

Arts

‘Transcendence’: A whole new level of tedium

By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

 
‘The Bloom’ paves way for Whole Earth Festival

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

DHS tribute to Tony Fields slated for April 25-26

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

 
UCD, city team up for Music on the Green

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

.

Business

Ford turns its Focus to domestic market

By Ali Arsham | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Friday, April 18, 2014

By Creator | From Page: A9

 
.

Real Estate Review

Featured Listing

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER1

Professional Services Directory

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER2

Lyon Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER3

Jamie Madison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Yolo FCU

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Acacia at Huntington Square

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER4

Travis Credit Union

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER5

Kim Eichorn

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Suzanne Kimmel

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER6

Lynne Wegner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Kim Merrel Lamb

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER7

Chris Snow

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Patricia Echevarria

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER8

Don Guthrie

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Andrew Dowling

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Sheryl Patterson

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER9

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER10

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER11

Julie Partain & Dick Partain

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Heather Barnes

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER12

Malek Baroody

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER13

Karen Waggoner

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Willowbank Park

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER14

Team Traverso

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Julie Leonard

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tim Harrison

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER15

Tracy Harris

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Lori Prizmich

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER16

Raul Zamora

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Joe Kaplan

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER17

Coldwell Banker

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER18

Open House Map

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER19

F1rst Street Real Estate

By Zack Snow | From Page: RER20