With the arrival of the spring weather, keen gardeners’ thoughts turn to sprucing up their plots and new season’s planting. Pot gardening is a relatively low maintenance way of enjoying colourful blooms and even vegetables, and while a collection of terracotta urns and planters can lend a Mediterranean air to the garden, it risks looking a little twee. A little creativity in the form of some unusual garden planters will give your garden a far more individual look.
Garden planter ideas based upon plant needs
Forget the idea that pots have to match, either in size or tone. Varying the colour, shape and material of your planter collection will add personality and depth to your garden displays. Furthermore, it will allow you to give the best care to a variety of plants of different potting requirements – for example some seeds or bulbs require a shallow setting whereas others need depth to flourish.
Bear in mind also that bigger is not always better. You should set your flora into the appropriate sized planter for the size of its root system – too small and the plant will become root bound, too large and the roots could rot from too much water.
Creative garden planter ideas
Planting up wheelbarrows, old ceramic sinks or Wellington boots to make unusual garden planters has been a bit overdone now. Nonetheless there are still plenty of other, less explored ideas you can experiment with. A traditional galvanised bucket combines really well with standard garden pots and will develop a beautiful patina with age when stood outside in all weathers. Its balanced shape works nicely with a colourful salvia or maybe romantic scabious or verbena. Just make sure you drill a few holes in the bottom and add a layer or gravel or stones for drainage before planting up.
When you need to fill in smaller areas with points of interest, empty glass jars or tins can make interesting features. Children in particular will be fascinated by being able to watch the growth pattern of the roots through the jar. Colourful, dramatic bulbs such as irises or hyacinths would grow well in these. Old enamelware would also make an appropriate garden planter here.
If you’re trying to maintain a rustic, cottage garden theme, go for a few wicker baskets. You’ll need to line them with plastic to stop particles spilling from the gaps but the natural material is the perfect foil for daffodils or primrose.