Choosing Materials for Your Garden Containers

Containers come in a wide range of materials, from metal to ceramic to wood, but the right choice depends on three key factors: the design of your garden or patio, where the containers are to be positioned and the size of your budget.

Font
  • A
  • A
  • A

E-mail This Page to Your Friends

x

All fields are required.

Separate multiple e-mail addresses with a comma; Maximum 20 email addresses.

Refresh

Sending E-mail

Sending E-mail

Or Do Not E-mail

Success!

A link to %this page% was e-mailed

Containers Come in Wide Range of Styles and Color DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited An upbeat mix of styles, materials and colors.

Clay

Advantages: Most garden centers now have a huge range of clay pots, from the tiny and inexpensive to wide-rimmed, big-bellied "sumo wrestlers" that can be very costly. Old pots (or reproductions) with swagged patterns add Renaissance antiquity and a sculptural touch.

Disadvantages: Clay is porous and dries out quickly; a polythene liner can help reduce this problem. Also check that pots are frost-proof, not just frost-resistant. Make sure that plants aren’t top-heavy, or the pot may blow over in high winds and break.

Tip: Clay pots are often best in semi-shade to prevent them from drying out too quickly.

Stylish Garden PotEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Wood

Advantages: Solid hardwood barrels and containers made from logs are long-lasting and a good choice for permanent plantings in rustic settings. Large tubs have plenty of space for root development and extra plants—such as seasonal bulbs—around the sides.

Disadvantages: Check whether softwood containers or windowboxes need treatment with a plant-friendly wood preservative. They also need to be lined with plastic to prevent soil from spilling out. Large barrels are heavy when planted, so plant them in situ.

Tip: Rustic wood is ideal for woodland plants.

Wooden Log PlantersEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited

Stone

Advantages: Stone has a solid, antique look. Larger containers suit permanent plantings and offer plenty of room for root growth. Genuine old stone can be very expensive, but less costly modern copies in reconstituted stone or concrete are widely available. Smear with natural live yogurt to create an algae-covered surface.

Disadvantages: Since real stone is heavy, check its final position before planting. Large, expensive containers may need concreting in position to prevent theft. Gray stone can be dispiriting.

Tip: Soften a gray stone container with daisylike anthemis.

Stone Planter Has Softer SideEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - Simple Steps to Success: Containers for Patios © 2007 Dorling Kindersley Limited
« Previous12

Excerpted from Simple Steps: Containers for Patios

©Dorling Kindersley Limited 2007

We Recommend...

Choosing Containers for Your Garden

Choosing Containers for Your Garden

Before buying containers, work out what sizes you'll need, how they'll look, what plants you want to grow and how much time you...

Caring for Your Garden Containers

Caring for Your Garden Containers

All containers need thorough washing every so often to make sure they are clean and pest-free—but wood, metal and stone...

A Modern Container Garden for the Patio

A Modern Container Garden for the Patio

In this contemporary display, the slim vase-shaped container balances the tall spiky cabbage palm and drooping ferny foliage,...

Advertisement

HGTV Outdoors Newsletter

Find out how to make the most of patios, decks and all your outdoor areas, plus tips from master gardeners for beautiful flower beds and bountiful vegetable gardens.