type of container that can stay out year round
We just had our front porch rebuilt last fall, and I'm now starting the slow process of re-landscaping (you'll see some more posts from me soon!). When we had the porch re-done, we reoriented the stairs so they now go down the front of the house to the street instead of off to the side. Anyway, I want to get a couple of large containers that can stay out year round with different plantings. I have a couple of dwarf spruces that are still quite small, and I was thinking they might be the center of each of those pots (so they can serve as a holiday decoration come winter!) so it needs to be pretty good sized.
I'm considering wooden ones (the porch is painted white with mahogany decking that will be left to weather), but am not sold on it... My other instinct was more of a classic urn. If I'm going to do it at all, I'd like to do it right and fully understand my options. What kinds of materials can take the winters? Obviously I can't leave a ceramic pot planted up all winter... Do the metal ones last? Are they worth the price? Anyone know of a place to buy or order ones at reasonable prices? (I was just at Mahoney's and they were nearly $200! Is that truly how much I'll have to pay?)