Be sure to check with the landlord before digging up an area for a garden. Offer to put an agreement in writing including details of what you will plant and how you will maintain it. Be clear that you will bear the financial responsibility of plants and maintenance and if necessary to restore it to its original condition when you move. To convince a reluctant landlord, mention gardening classes you have taken or show photos of past gardens. Plant an easily maintained garden. Avoid water gardens, invasive groundcovers, vines and exotic, hard-to-maintain plants.
Apartment and condominium dwellers may be limited by covenants or other restrictions, so check with the association or management. Pots and planter boxes come in many shapes and sizes, take up little space, and are movable and easily maintained. Container gardening books have lots of ideas and Plantalk messages (see below) explain how to have success with containers.
Purchase plants according to the amount of sun exposure you have. Light requirements for plants to perform well are listed on the plant tags. Plants that require full sun need a minimum of six hours of sun light, light shade four to six hours, and two to four hours for partial shade plants. Some foliage plants do best in filtered light or continuous shade.
Other options might be to help with a neighborhood community garden, offer your gardening skills to an elderly homeowner, or volunteer your time with a local gardening club or the botanic gardens. Take advantage of the many ways to realize the benefits of gardening for yourself and others!