Posted: 15/01/2013 at 21:55
If the landlord is nice and OK with garden making, but you don't want to dig up the lawn you will just have to do more interesting things around the edges, like planting mixed flowering shrubs eg spireas, abelia, weigela, exochorda "the Bride", deutzia, philadelphus. You could put annuals, grown from seeds or small plants between to provide colour. It depends what you want to spend and how long you will be there and if you want to dig them up when you move. Parkers have some quite cheap, or have a look in a garden centre.
You could put up an arch with climbing plants and perhaps a seat under it on the far side. Perhaps, herbs, thyme rosemary, lavender on either side for scent. It all depends what the budget is.