How to Choose the Right Container for Your Garden

Editor Lindsay Bierman shares his tips for choosing the right container for your garden.


[BLANK_AUDIO] Hey everyone. We're here at Charlie Thigpen's Garden Gallery in downtown Birmingham. This is one of my favorite garden shops. Charlie's a great designer and he has a fantastic selection of containers. And I'm gonna give you my tips for choosing the right one. Come on inside. [MUSIC] I'm gonna give you a piece of advice that will never steer you wrong. Match the color of the container to the surface it sits on. So, take this terracotta pot, for example. This would be great on a brick terrace or like at my house I've got these fifties tiles that are red and I have pots that are about this color. [MUSIC] If you got blue stone or concrete, something gray or zinc or a lot of those beautiful weather gray finishes that you see around will look terrific. When it comes to glazed pots, don't go crazy with these. I would suggest just having one as a focal point. Cuz you can only have one lead singer. It's either the pot or the plant. So, if you do go for something like this, make sure you pot, you plant it out with just a simple box wood or ivy like you see here. Now, I know a lot of y'all have decks, so in general, you wanna pick a container like this one, in a color that echoes the stain. And this may really obvious, but one thing you really need to worry about is drainage. Most pots have a whole, but a lot of pots do not. And I'm always amazed at how many people will pass up a beautiful pot like this one, just because it doesn't have a hole. A garden shop like Charlie's will go ahead and drill that for you. If you're handy with a drill bit, go for it. Make sure when you're choosing pots, if you're going to be planting outside, where it's exposed to the elements, you wanna make sure you have something that's going to be resistant to moisture and not crack during hard freezes. [MUSIC] Something like this which has glazing on the inside, and the outside. So that means it's fired at a very high heat. Is gonna be much more resistant to cold weather and cracking. And something like this, which is lighter, and is not glazed on the inside, so it's gonna absorb more moisture and potentially crack the pot during cold weather. When it comes to the size of your pot, bigger is better. Small pots dry out very quickly, large pots are gonna hold their water much longer. So a good rule of thumb to follow. 15 inches in diameter, like this pot here, is going to contain three gallon pots. This is a very common size, they're generally very affordable, and a pair of these flanking most doorways is all you need, and will look great. [MUSIC] When it comes to materials you basically have 2 choices, real and fake. Now this is one example where I don't think fake is a bad thing. Let me start with the real thing. Stone is gonna age beautifully and it becomes a permanent part of your landscape. The only major disadvantage here is that, unless you have a really strong husband or a staff [MUSIC] They're not gonna go anywhere. Something like this which I think is beautifully designed and already has this nice patina on it, is incredibly lightweight, so check this out. [SOUND] One hand. These fiber cement pots are perfect for those of you who have, like, a minor lemon tree that you need to take into the garage every winter. It's gonna be a whole lot easier to move. If you're ever in downtown Birmingham, stop by Charlie Pigpen's Garden Gallery and say hello to Charlie himself. Ask this guy questions, he's an amazing resource. And for more inspiration, pick up a copy of Southern Living magazine and visit
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