Decorative garden pots and planters are a great way to add colour and greenery to indoor and outdoor spaces such as patios, decking, driveways, window ledges, even the front doorstep or a balcony. With the right planting for sun or shade, container gardening can provide year round interest from spring flowering bulbs to evergreen shrubs, fruit and vegetables to colourful summer bedding plants.
At AVS we have a huge selection of plant pots and garden planters in a range of materials for both outdoor and indoor use. Here's some of our top tips for making the most of garden planters and container gardening.
Check your pot or garden planter drainage
The most important thing to check with outdoor planters is drainage. Most planters should come with a drainage hole, however it's important to ensure that this doesn't become blocked. Gardeners have traditionally used crocks, or old pieces of broken pot to cover the drainage hole, however we recommend adding a layer of coarse gravel or damp newspaper to the bottom of your pot.
If possible, use small pieces of wood or pot risers to lift your planter 1-2cm off the ground - drainage can become blocked, especially for larger pots, when placed flat on the ground.
Choose your compost
The beauty of container gardening is that you can choose precisely the sort of compost or potting soil to fill your container - avoid using garden soil for containers. A planter will dry out much more quickly than a flowerbed, so water retention is a must if you want to avoid daily watering. Look for a potting compost or potting mix that contains a high proportion of loam rather than peat, some composts even contain water retaining granules.
Another way to reduce water loss from planters and flower pots and to keep plants growing is to top dress them with gravel or slate. Just ensure that you regularly check under the dressing to see if they need watering.
Self-watering pots and planters are a great idea if you want to avoid the chore of regular watering, or the planter is placed in a difficult to reach place such as a window box or hanging basket. Alternatively they are great to place in an office, or perhaps you have a holiday home or rental property where regular watering is not always possible.
We have a huge selection of self-watering planters, from small table top planters which will house a potted plant, to large floor-standing models for large palms or even dwarf trees. Their in-built water reservoir will keep your plants optimally watered for up to three months.
Planting tips for pots and planters
Depending on their size and position, planters can house one large statement plant, or be crammed with a collection of smaller plants. If using several plants in one pot here are a few tips:
- choose a mix of flowers and interesting foliage plants
- try to use odd numbers of plants in a group - for example three, five or seven
- try to plant in triangles, with taller plants either in the centre or rear of the planter. The simplest layout is a thriller (tall statement plant), a filler (smaller flower or foliage plant), and a spiller (a trailing plant at the edge of the planter)
- follow a colour scheme such as all white flowers, or do the complete opposite and try a multicoloured pot
- an easy way to plant a garden planter is to position the plants still in their pots in your planter and fill the surrounding gaps with compost. Remove the plants and re-plant (without pots!) straight into the holes, firming them into position and adding further compost as needed
What are fibrestone pots?
Fibrestone is a fantastic material for garden planters, giving a realistic stone, concrete or faux lead finish, but without the weight. It is made from a combination of recycled fibreglass chippings, fibreglass netting and composite stone powder, which results in an extremely strong, UV and frost resistant material. Fibrestone can then be moulded into a variety of shapes, sizes, surface patterns and colours.
Our fibrestone range includes large faux lead square troughs, round stone planters, bowl planters, tall tapered planters, concrete cube planters, small indoor planters, hanging plant pots - the possibilities are endless!
Large planters to either side of a front door are a great way to frame the entrance to your house. Smaller pots can be arranged around the large pots to provide seasonal interest such as bulbs and summer flowers.
Tall, thin evergreen trees or shrubs are the traditional choice such as lollipop bay trees, but for a more contemporary, Mediterranean look try olive trees or columnar Italian cypress.
Grow your own
Large pots or planters are an ideal place to grow vegetables or fruit if you're short on space.
Climbing plants such as tomatoes, beans or peppers are especially well suited to container growing as they utilise the vertical space. Just make sure to give them plenty of water and food and place in full sun. Our large wooden rectangular planters are ideal for this purpose.
Alternatively, plant a window box outside your kitchen with herbs or strawberry plants - top tip, potted herbs from the supermarket will flourish in a window box in summer.
Make a patio water feature
Waterproof planters, such as our fiberstone range of planters, make an ideal container for a freestanding water feature. Simply seal any drainage holes with a bung or silicone sealant, move the pot to its desired location, then fill with water.
Positioning bricks or small pots under the water allows you to position aquatic plants at the correct height. Try to place a taller plant such as a rush at the back of the feature, with smaller plants towards the front.
Adding a small solar powered pump and fountain will allow the water to circulate and keep it clear.
We have a wide range of pots and garden planters available in a variety of styles and colours. Choose from indoor or outdoor pots and planters, traditional wooden planters, self-watering polyresin planters or our innovative fibrestone planter range in a selection of stone and faux-lead designs, and make the most of your indoor and outdoor space.