THE MODERN MINT BLOG
This Renting Gardens Manifesto is a follow on from an earlier post about Gardening in Rented Accommodation.
Renting accommodation on a 12 month basis and gardening are not compatible. Our solution is this:
The Renting Gardens Manifesto
What Do We Want?
A register of landlords who have gardens. A register of gardeners who know they rent accommodation on a short-term basis.
What Do We Do?
Put one network in touch with the other to create a web of gardens that are used on a custodianship basis.
Why Do The Landlords Benefit?
You get your garden looked after. For free. It adds value to what you are offering people. A renter who has responsibility for one part of your property will also respect the rest – so you have less worries about the place falling into disrepair.
Why Does The Renter Benefit?
They get a garden in which to scratch their horticultural itch. They get to experience different growing conditions, so become better gardeners. They have a platform in which to be creative. They are enthused by a beautiful aim – that this piece of land is to be cared for well, and will continue to be cared for when they are gone. The long-term custodianship means none of their work is wasted.
What Must The Landlord Do?
Provide a place to store tools.
What Must The Renter Do?
Treat it well. Garden without pesticides or weedkillers. If growing vegetables make a note of what is planted where. Leave plants there when you leave (cuttings may be taken!)
Why Do We Offer This?
Because people cannot afford their own homes, but may want to garden. We have always lived ‘for one day in the future’ and so, when we have had a space to garden, not bothered to plant a mulberry or an oak. With the Renting Gardens Manifesto Scheme, we now know we can – and it won’t be ripped up by someone else who thinks its ugly 6 months down the line!
The bigger the network, the more it will create a patchwork of gardens brimming with flowers – helping the UK to truly become a River of Flowers.
Is There Anything Else Like This?
Why The Picture Of Tokyo At The Top Of The Page?
Because it highlights the vast amount of communities out there – each street, each building, even each floor of each building will have its little niches and tribes. Yet they all come together under the banner of ‘Tokyo’. Can this not be the same for us Gardeners Who Rent? It may not be our garden, but working together it will be a garden.
How Do We Get Involved?
Please also share this with anyone you think might be interested – let’s turn these little pockets of land from a hassle into a pleasure!
Making a new topiary out of the large, dull facade of a Taxus blob… My work was to change it up from a ‘jelly drop’ shape and give it texture, open it out and let the light through, and make it a sculptural feature in the background of the garden in summer… yet a major part of the garden in winter. A few more years before it becomes something special, but there was far more leaf and growth inside the plant than I thought and so it will not take too long for it to gain in character and become …
Two weeks ago I was invited to teach topiary at the garden of Griselda Kerr, the author of The Apprehensive Gardener. I love teaching and sharing skills, but I was placed on the spot in the afternoon and asked to show how I would make a new topiary from an existing shrub. So below is a speeded-up video of me creating a cloud-pruned topiary from an old boxwood tree. I particularly love the ending when the class get involved….! See the video here. One hour was all it took, and though it needed a little tidying-up, it was made by …
Charlotte Molesworth, my topiary mentor, and I are running our popular topiary workshop again in 2022. You can email me for details – or go here for information, your ticket and to find out about dates. Book A Spot On A Topiary Workshop, September 2022