Are you WISHING FOR SPRING so you can get back outside? I certainly am!
A project that you can do right now that will at least give you some of that connection to the garden is to review your containers. How do your planters look…Ready to retire? Can you use some new ones this spring? Take this time to do an inventory of what you have and see where you can use some new ones. If you do think you’ll be buying some new ones this year, what kind will you get? Planters are available in many materials now! Consider the pros and cons of each before you buy…
Concrete planters are best used in places that you want to have year-round color. I always recommend concrete for the front entry. Nothing lasts forever, but these will last for many years. In fact, it’s the only material that can safely be left outside year-round. Concrete is also stainable, so you can give it an aged look, in a natural color that complements your home. They are very heavy, so once you have them in place, you won’t want to move them!
Resin and Fiberglass
These are great because they are so lightweight and are now available in many shapes and sizes. However, I sometimes have trouble with the finish…sometimes it peels. But, if you find a good deal on one and you really like it, go ahead and get it. When you add a lot of pretty flowers, It’s not always obvious when it peels. In fact, I have one that is about 15 years old. Yes, it’s peeling, but it’s a great planter, so I continue to plant it every year! I like to use them with tropical shrubs that I over-winter, so I can easily move them in and out!
Classic planters in clay are available everywhere. While they look about the same everywhere, the quality ranges. The best clay is imported from Italy (of course!), and clay pots made in Italy will have that stamped somewhere on it; these will generally last longer than the less expensive ones. Clay pots absorb water, so will require more diligent watering. That can be a negative, but also a positive…I have yet to see a plant in terracotta over-watered…a very common mistake that kills plants. Since they are porous, they should be emptied and stored over the winter.
The glazed pots are wonderful because they come in so many colors, shapes and sizes! Although they can be pretty heavy, most of them are still lightweight enough to move around when you want to. Most of the glazed planters are only glazed on the outside, and the inside is left clay. In this case, these planters can crack if left outside, so should be emptied and stored over the winter. I love to use these around the deck!
Iron planters have many good qualities…They can be left outside year-round, they last forever, and they are usually classically styled so go with most homes…But, they get VERY HOT if placed in the sun, and the roots of your plants literally bake! They also rust, so can discolor the surface where they’re placed. I don’t recommend them, but if you already have some, move them into the shady area and your plants will be much happier!