I love using outdoor pots in my designs. They can be plastic, fiberglass, clay, concrete or glazed. Pots can dress up an otherwise plane wall. Outdoor pots can dimension and height. Even broken pots can add that little something you may be looking for. The result is always instant gratification to the eye. My neighbor is a faux painter. He purchased an inexpensive fiberglass outdoor pots from Costco and then painted it. The finished product looks very attractive and unique. I am not that fond of plastic pots simply because they do not last more than one or two years in the desert sun.
At times it may not even be necessary to plant shrubs in them. I have used Ocotillo canes, Bamboo Shoots and metal art in the pots. Outdoor pots make excellent water features also with a little work. A few times I have taken three wok pots. I then placed a divider in the first two. Half would be for the water feature, the other half was to plant annuals. Each wok pot poured into the other.
I have used lights in front and behind and yes, above the pots as well. When I make a outdoor pot into a water feature I usually place a light in the water. Egg lights work well here.
Green Goddess on Bell and 40th street always has a great section of outdoor pots. They also have an extensive array of metal art and water features. This is a good place to see outdoor pots that are converted into water features.
Another retail outlet that always has ample outdoor pots is Phoenix Pre Cast. And like Green Goddess they also have an extensive collection of metal art and water features along with fire features and stone pillars. They have the largest selection of concrete pots. Some are special orders.
When placing pots, staying with odd numbers is always my preference. However, sometimes two or four pots look better than three or five pots in a location. Using different pot heights along with different shapes will also add the drama that you may strive for. Don’t forget you can also include one or more broken outdoor pots here also.
When you have selected your perfect outdoor pot the next step is deciding what you are going to do with the pot. Are you going to use it as a planter, water feature, or some other type of accessory?
I am only going to focus on using the outdoor pot as a planter in this blog. I will write another blog solely on converting an outdoor pot into a water feature. When using an outdoor pot to plant shrubs some thoughts to keep in mind are, cover the drain hole with landscape fabric, next a layer of granite followed by a layer of soil. I strongly recommend adding the pots to the drip system. This should include having the pots on a its own valve.
If you wanted to take your outdoor pot design to another dimension think about elevating it with not only with an inverted pot, block, and metal or with whatever else to raise its height. Another thought is to place the pots in a different medium such as river rock or rip rap. Contrasts in height, shape and textures will truly add that special element.
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