Container Gardening Ideas – Patio Pots, Patio Planters, Urns and Things

Container Gardening Ideas

Patio Pots, Patio Planters, Urns and Things


Very closely allied to the hanging flower basket and window planter or box is a wide range of containers in which to grow flowers and shrubs etc. to grace the terrace, patio, yard, or entrance-way, a flat roof, a balcony, a wall or a sunroom. The right container can even be used indoors and I have used an urn made of stone on a plinth showering ivies and trailing geraniums in a large window to great effect.

Well planted containers around the vicinity of the house encourage always a warm and welcoming feeling. And there is no lack of different shapes and sizes from which to choose. patio pots They can, for example, if we place them properly create a light screen for a window, a garden seat, or a barbecue area, filter the wind, and bring a delicate touch of country green to a city home. But one of their best attributes, from the busy person’s point of view, is that they are always close at hand and tending them is as easy and natural as admiring them.

I have a fair number of outdoor patio planters or garden containers collected over the years. They range from old stone sinks and the largest sizes of commercial plant pots to a decorated terracotta urn. I also have a mock-bronze urn, a huge Victorian pot so large that it is made in two halves (and it takes two people to lift each half). Various big pottery bread-making crocks have proved surprisingly frost-hardy. Two fairly plain earthenware urns came from a local pottery, and in splendid contrast are my two genuine Georgian terracotta mock baskets complete with unusual handles.

I am always moving them around, sometimes as I make other changes in the garden, sometimes (when they are replanted) in order to make them fit more pleasingly into their immediate environment. At my last home, where we had no grass, only paved areas, I found my various pots and troughs particularly useful, dotted along the paths, at the end of vistas on terraces, by the pool, and in the rose garden and borders. In my present garden they are used in a similar way to give emphasis and interest wherever a kind of visual ‘punctuation mark’ is needed. Like good paving or smooth lawns, a well-shaped pot or other patio planter of pleasing proportions gives a feeling of repose and order, especially where there are ‘busy’ multi-coloured flower borders or the confused patterning of lots of green foliage. If the patio pots are empty during the cold months they still manage to add interest and a gentle solidity to the winter garden. As you see, I am very fond of my containers!

patio pots and planters I find that patio pots and terrace pots and tubs are often interchangeable with window boxes. It is interesting to buy varying sizes of the same kind of container, or various shapes in the same material, to arrange together in a cluster, a row, or a tier, as well as to display individually. A tiered group is always effective, with the tallest of the group at the back and the smallest at the front, with each pot spilling its flowers into the one below. Trailing lobelia, usually seen in hanging baskets and window boxes, can look entrancing when used in this manner, as can mind-your-own business, which trickles down as a mossy green cascade from one container to another. You should beware of letting this latter plant escape into the cracks and crevices of paving, where it would soon go rampaging away and become a nuisance.

Containers such as patio planters or patio pots and urns, display their plants best if raised off the ground, perhaps just on a couple of bricks (which helps drainage) or to window sill level. Wood, metal, or stone staging can be used in a suitable position, perhaps against a wall, or stone or brick pillars in a more conspicuous position. One or more suitably sized pieces of a sturdy tree trunk can look effective, and incredibly versatile are those open concrete building blocks, in various designs, sold for making decorative garden walls, loggias, and so on. They have an airy, lively effect when built up to form square or oblong plinths and pillars. They are not heavy to lift and move, and if the structure is not too high or too complex it is not necessary to cement them together. There are also interlocking bricks which can be used in a variety of ways.

Lengths of glazed drainpipes, which come in various widths, can be very good for supporting containers, and will even make containers themselves. I remember visiting a garden in which a number of such pipes, of different sizes. were placed together to form a sort of upright sculpture on a terrace. All kinds of trailing ivies were planted in them. I thought this such a good idea that I copied it.

large patio planters

I like, too, the tower pots which are available in shops and garden centres as patio planters for herbs and strawberries. The individual pots, in attractive plastic, are locked together to form a pillar or tower, with ‘balconies’ at intervals all the way up to take the plants. They are suitable for both indoors and outdoors. Using modern plastic materials like this has made many such interesting and relatively inexpensive plant containers available. More expensive large planters are available however, made out of tin, copper, wood, etc.  All very pleasing to the eye.

Junk shops are not what they were for turning up treasures, for much of what used to be junk is now ‘antique’ and expensive; nevertheless, market stalls, backstreet shops, and car boot sales do at times provide something useful and rare.

12. October 2010 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Container Gardening, Gardening Ideas | Tags: | Comments Off on Container Gardening Ideas – Patio Pots, Patio Planters, Urns and Things


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