Garden Pots and Planters for Economic Gardening / Container Gardening

Garden Pots and Planters

Container Gardening

Container gardening on the cheap - economic gardening is what we call it - will develop your constructional skills and give you a good eye for a potential pot. In the cottage garden almost anything can be pressed into service: barrels, of course, and old sinks; lavatories frothing over with ivy and nasturtiums; buckets, sink, hip-baths and chamber-pots, pots, pans, jars and crocks, fire grates and rubber tyres - anything goes. Things are rather different in a formal setting. This is where the water tank will come into its own. Painted a matt greenish-black, it will look remarkably like an antique lead cistern.

Here, too, you may make neat beds of bricks, rescued from the skip, to match the brickwork of the house, or painted to match the walls and woodwork. Breeze-blocks make a good, strong wall or raised bed; not the most elegant solution, perhaps, but again, paint them to match the rest of the place, and cover them with neat trellis, painted the same or in contrast. Fix a coping along the top, unless you plan to plant the edges with Ivy or some other sprawling plant, and the effect will be quite solid and imposing.

Clay garden pots and planters will suit almost all schemes and, if you stick to plain, machine-made pots, are not very expensive. One large enough to take a small tree will cost about as much as a bottle of supermarket gin, and the pleasure it will bring will last considerably longer.

Once you splurge out upon imported, hand-thrown garden pots and planters, you are into big money, but if you have room for just one, the outlay would be justified by the impact. If there is a small pottery in your part of the world, try and persuade them to sell you their 'seconds' - those that have small cracks and chips or those that have gone wrong in the kiln. All sorts of glazed pots can be used, but you must make drainage holes, using a masonry bit with your drill.

Garden Pots and Planters


Keep a look-out in builders' yards for attractive chimney pots, as these come in many traditional designs and colours. Old ones are getting quite expensive now but can be picked up occasionally. Liven sections of large concrete drainpipe can be used in a modern setting. Old coppers and boilers, as well as all sorts of metal containers, can be used. They, too, must have drainage holes drilled into them and it is a good idea to paint them on the inside as some metals are toxic to plants.

Wooden window-boxes, planters and square Versailles 'caisses' can he made from old floor-boards, and off-cuts of timber. Roof limbers will make splendid pergolas. All wood should be treated with a non-toxic wood preservative or painted, both inside and out, and the pots and planters should be raised clear of the ground on runners or bricks to avoid rolling.

Keep an eye out all the time for other economic gardening ideas.

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