Planters are an absolute godsend for urban living. Whether you have a small garden, a paved town courtyard or a roof terrace ten storeys up, planters provide an excellent solution for would-be gardeners.

The main advantage of planters is the fact that they are so versatile. They can provide a very aesthetically pleasing ‘finishing touch’ to the external appearance of a house, but can also be used practically to grow a small variety of vegetables and herbs. Whatever purpose you have in mind for planters, the choice and range available is enormous.

The only ground rules that you need to respect with planters is that there is occasional work required in changing soil, potting up and repotting.

Watering is by far the greatest chore of planter gardening and needs to be done generously and regularly. Rainfall alone will never be enough to keep your flowers or plants adequately irrigated, so don’t let your planter ever trick you into thinking that it’s wetter than it actually is! Make sure you have an adequate water supply nearby and also consider if the planter has enough drainage.

Once you’ve sorted the practicalities of where to situate your planter and how to ensure an adequate water supply, then the sky’s the limit when it comes to deciding what to plant!

If you’re going for aesthetic appeal with flowers and shrubs, try the following:

For formal courtyards opt for potted bays, cypress, camellias or bamboos. Large concrete planters look fabulous with trees and shrubs, while stone troughs are just made for miniature gardens of alpines.

If you’re seeking a more cottage-garden style, then go for a range of planters in different shapes, sizes and colours. When they’re clustered together, they provide a major splash of colour beside doorways or lining steps.

If you’re going down the practical, ‘grow your own’ route, then salad leaves, small potatoes and herbs are your best bet as they grow well in a small space.

Pots and planters add colour and structure to any garden.  Make sure to water often and be careful not to over-plant.  Happy pottering!

(Article updated 23/02/2017)

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