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A moving experience: how to create a portable garden

PUBLISHED: 10:00 26 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:12 28 February 2017

Moving a plant pot

Moving a plant pot

PA Photo/thinkstockphotos

Moving house but don’t want to lose your beloved green spaces? Have no fear, moveable gardens are all the rage these days.

Mark Sage, head of horticulture at Wyevale Garden CentresMark Sage, head of horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres

So, are you one of the millions who can’t afford – or choose not – to buy your own property? If you love your outdoor space, it may be time to consider how to move your garden.

With nearly 50 per cent of householders aged 25 to 35 renting a property, and an increasing number of landlords paving over gardens to make them ‘no maintenance’, taking your garden with you is a concept many of us might consider.

It’s a theme adopted by acclaimed garden designer Tanya Batkin, who will be showing her ‘Moveable Feast Garden’ at the new RHS Chatsworth House Flower Show in Derbyshire from June 7-11.

Batkin explains: “My daughter is ‘generation rent’ with a tiny outdoor space - we are talking one pot. She had to have something bombproof, so we went for some succulents, some houseleeks.

A garden cabbage patchA garden cabbage patch

“If you have room for a half barrel, you could put in one bamboo, some grasses and a heuchera, which is great for all-year-round interest. It gives you a nice combination of form and foliage.”

Her show garden is made up of a series of brightly coloured wooden planters in palette and half-palette sizes. They are all on wheels, she points out, so easy to move.

‘Rent generation’ gardeners can buy wheeled stands and trolleys with which to move all manner of containers. There are many portable compost bins on the market - some of which are available free through local authorities - as well as lighter, resin-based containers, self-contained, easy-to-move water features and stick-in-the-ground solar lighting.

And you don’t have to limit yourself to having flowering ornamental plants in your moveable pots, says Batkin.

“Because my show garden is called ‘Moveable Feast’, there’s going to be a lot of edible planting. Things like bay, rosemary and lavender will grow happily in pots.”

Planting with a view that you will not be in one place for long is a growing trend, says Mark Sage, head of horticulture at Wyevale Garden Centres.

“We continue to see a real interest in instant solutions from customers who are renting rather than buying properties now, and are more transient and wanting to take their purchases with them from house to house.”

Plants with all-year-round interest such as viburnums are proving popular to give structure, flower and berries, and can be grown in pots which you can move, as well as camellias and perpetual-flowering patio roses, such as ‘Carpet’ roses and ‘Fairy’ roses, he says.

Edibles are also easy to grow in pots and are moveable. Dwarf fruit trees are also increasing in popularity, says Sage.

“Even in our ‘grow your own’ selections, we’ve seen an increase in patio varieties, simply because people have smaller spaces.

“Things like terrace patio fruit, varieties which are grafted on to a rootstock and will grow to about 5ft tall, will thrive in smaller spaces. We have tomato ranges which are 
suitable for pots and hanging baskets. Growing in smaller spaces is a focus for us.

“The continued interest in ‘grow your own’ has seen the breeders working extensively on getting really good, productive, great tasting fruit and vegetables suitable for container gardening, particularly with fruit trees.”


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