No matter what style of garden you have, there is always room for a container or two. Whether you live in an apartment with only a sun drenched window sill or on a rambling acreage property with hidden outdoor rooms, a large urn, a pot, a wooden planter box or even an old work boot could provide a perfect home for a specimen plant or two.
As a landscaping element, containers are extremely versatile. A row of uniform pots in a bed of pebbles, lining a pathway, instantly suggests a contemporary garden. Take those same pots, settle them in a garden bed with a couple lying on their side, and you could create a Tuscan setting. Have water flowing from one into another, with the remainder filled with cordylines and small palms and you will be in a tropical paradise.
Containers can be used to create a focal point at the end of a path or frame the entrance to a house or section of the garden. Hanging baskets soften the eaves of a house or beams of a pergola, while attractive ceramic pots help to liven up the floor space inside the home. Containers are gaining popularity for productive gardening, allowing for dwarf fruit trees in small courtyards, herbs near the back door or vegetable gardening at a level which doesn’t strain the back.
As well as their aesthetic function, containers can also provide solutions for several problems. If you live in an area with a soil type which doesn’t match a plant you wish to grow, in a pot you can provide the right conditions.
Containers placed along the edge of a low patio, deck or set of steps provide an element of safety against accidental falls. These should not be used to replace proper railing or barriers where the drop is substantial.
The choice of container will depend on budget, taste and creativity. Some will last longer than others; others will be awkward to manage in certain situations.
Here is a brief outline of some container options: Found or discarded objects, such as old work boots, olive oil tins and saucepans are a great source of quirky plant containers. Metal containers range from cast iron plant holders with traditional feel to contemporary raised corrugated iron garden beds. Wood can be used to make small planter boxes for a patio or larger boxes for vegetables. Plastic and fibre glass containers are available in a wide range of shapes and colours. They are light weight and help with water retention in the potting media.
Other options include various types of glazed ceramic pots, combinations of clay and fibreglass, and of course, terracotta.
A Handy Hint
A trick for people who want to relocate pot plants when they move house is to keep the plant in a plastic pot which you then slip inside the larger feature pot. When you move, carrying the two separate items will be a lot easier.
With all that choice, there is sure to be a container or pot which will fit comfortably into your garden.