The best outdoor tall planters

Written by benna crawford
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The best outdoor tall planters
A row of identical tall planters creates a wall at the edge of a patio. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Tall planters add visual interest to a flat garden plot and provide the height needed for hanging plants to show off their flowers. A taller container supports small topiary trees, joins different levels of a stepped garden or acts like a pedestal in a gallery for a prized cultivar. Whether it's a patio half-barrel or a hollow drain pipe stood on end, a tall container can be the best choice for particular plants or landscapes.

Stepped Deck Planters

A deck or patio steps that transition from a house to a yard can be finished off and integrated into the landscape with tall planters. Planters that flank the highest point of a deck or stairs and reach to the lower level of the ground can hold foliage, flowers and even small trees that green the upper platform. One approach for a wood deck is copper-clad planters arranged on either side of the top deck that reach to the ground where they are open so larger plants can root. The copper ages beautifully in the yard as it weathers into a verdigris patina. The planters can be stepped to flow downward with the staircase. Plants that spill over the containers soften the hard edges of the built structure and make it seem more like part of a garden.

Garden Wall Planters

A low stone wall in a traditional garden becomes a partial green screen with the help of large planters. Oversized ceramic pots made of unglazed clay or glazed pottery can be used to hold tall plants like hardy sago palms. The tall pots sit on the flat top of the stacked stone, their bases partly hidden by creeping vines or evergreen ivy. The vines blend the pots seamlessly with their stone platform. When a row of identical planters featuring identical plants is laid on the wall, it forms a formal "wall" of natural textures and greenery. The look works equally well with stone or faux stone composite planters that have been "aged" and mottled to look like long-time fixtures in the landscape.

Tree Containers

A tree container is designed to support a large plant and emphasise its height in the landscape. Taller planters can be used to hold specimens in areas where tree roots would be disruptive or the ground is inhospitable to trees. A concrete or brick patio that fills a small backyard is one example of an ideal location for a container tree. This style of planter needs to have good drainage. A container tree has to be watered frequently so its roots won't dry out but it is equally important that the roots never sit in water or soggy soil. Due to frequent watering, the soil becomes depleted of nutrients and the tree must be fertilised regularly. Planters sufficiently sturdy to handle watering and chemical fertilisers are best. Strong root growth will also put pressure on the planter, and weather extremes can cause cracking or corrosion, all factors to consider when selecting a material. Additionally, the planter height should suit the particular tree. The tops of the tree's roots should be level with the top of the soil, which should be a few inches below the rim of the planter. The container height should accommodate adequate root growth, support the tree and create a sense of balance as the tree grows taller.

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