I love the idea of gardening; the smell, the wildlife, the colorful flowers. But trying to say within my budget, and not plant anything in the ground that I won’t be able to take with me when my husband and I purchase our own house, I’ve had to get creative with planting.

As a renter, it seems silly to plant in-ground. One main reason I avoid this is that when we move,  the last thing I’ll want to do is dig up, transport, and transplant a multitude of greenery. The alternative is leaving plants behind, but that seems like a waste of money in the first place. Besides, as most renters will agree, you don’t want to be too generous with your landlord. Leaving behind plants, in my opinion, is just too generous. So my alternative is container gardening.

I wouldn’t say that I’m the ultimate green thumb, actually I avoid high-maintenance plants. Yet, I have been able to select some different varieties that make my containers interesting and easy to care for. Living in an arid climate, I try to choose plants that are drought-tolerant and will do well in a container. A few of my favorites are succulents, like ice plant, and Coco Lavender; the hummingbirds love this one.

Feather Grass in a container

Feather Grass in a container

I enjoy browsing Sunset Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens for gardening ideas and have fallen in love with ornamental grasses. Again, because I don’t want to leave anything behind at our rental house, I have planted feather grass in one of my containers and it’s flourishing. This is also one plant that will do well if I decide to plant in-ground at our new house. The movement of it’s leaves in the wind adds life to a garden.

I have been able to keep my cost down since I haven’t over-planted, meaning I only have a few containers (about 6).  On a side note, I once had a neighbor who had to move 50 container plants, and let me just say, they weren’t having much fun moving them. I’ve also chosen in-season plants and perenials that will flourish all year. I browse online for sales, before actually going out and making a purchase, and I’ve found that Osh is a great place to purchase plants, they have terrific prices and healthy varieties of plants.

As much as I drool over large gardens and beautiful landscapes, I can presently enjoy my container garden for now, and save money at the same time.