type of container that can stay out year round

lisahlooApril 25, 2010

Hi all,

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?)

Thanks! Lisa

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lovesummer(5/6)

I bought a glossy black fiberglass planter on sale at Target a couple of years ago, probably $30-40. I've had a dwarf Alberta spruce in it on my exposed front steps, and both the plant and planter have held up fine. One advantage to fiberglass is that it's light.

I like more contemporary decor so the classic iron urns aren't my style, but they're certainly popular, and they seem to last forever. I don't know what you have to do to keep them from rusting. You can get resin look-alikes for much less money, but some look better than others.

Some ceramic planters are glazed and fired to be weather resistant. I bought a few for fairly short money at Christmas Tree shop several years ago, and so far so good, I leave the dirt in them outside in the winter and they haven't cracked. But they're quite heavy, if that's a consideration. You'd probably want to put pot feet under them if they're to be on a wooden deck.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 12:29PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I have two fiberglass planters that stay out all year. They have gone through two winters now without a problem. The edges are looking a little ratty this year and need a touch up of some kind. They are painted I guess and it wears off. That is the one drawback. They are nice and light too.

I have another kind that stayed out all winter last year but I'm not sure what it is made of. It almost seems like paper mache only stronger.

There's always cement too, right?

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 7:45AM
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lovesummer(5/6)

> There's always cement too, right?

Surprisingly, concrete (aka "cast stone") isn't necessarily weatherproof. I have a nice concrete planter that I leave outside, but I empty the dirt, turn it upside down, and put a couple of 1 x 2's under it so it won't freeze to the surface. I don't know *how* likely concrete is to crack, but I like this planter so much I'm not taking any chances. Here's a link I posted a few months ago for concrete care instructions.

I was in the Watertown Home Depot a week ago or so and they had a pair of quite nice concrete urns for a good price, $25 each. They weren't exactly my style, but I was tempted.

Here is a link that might be useful: Campania cast stone winter care instructions

    Bookmark   April 27, 2010 at 9:43AM
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