If you would like a year-round garden, but are space-limited and live in an area that experiences significant changes in climate, there are planters available to meet your needs. Not only will you require a planter — you’ll also need to select the right type of plants, soil, and an appropriately sized planter made from a material that can withstand year-round conditions.
How to Choose a Container
If you aim to have a year-round garden, it’s important to understand the most effective planters, as well as the most appropriate plants. Depending on the area you live in, you may experience harsh, cold winters. Even if the climate isn’t bitter, any water that freezes and thaws can cause certain planters to crack or break.
In this sense, ceramic and clay wouldn’t be the best choice if they would be exposed to cooler temperatures for extended periods of time. For those who live in warmer climates, cracking from expanding frozen water in the soil isn’t generally a concern. Some of the best choices for cold climates include high-quality plastic, concrete, and rot-resistant wood, such as cedar.
Of course, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. For wood, it’s affordable, rustic, and durable — the only drawback is the possibility of rotting wood when left untreated. Whenever you purchase wood planters, ensure that they are moisture-resistant. High-quality plastic is affordable and can mimic a range of other materials — but in some cases, they will not weather well.
Concrete planters are extremely durable, however, they can be heavy once filled with soil — this only really matters if you often rearrange your garden. Some gardeners get creative and use half of a large barrel. Due to their large size and unique look, this idea can add a lot to your gardening space. Depending on the space available, you can source a variety of planters made from different materials to enhance the overall look of your garden.
Regardless of the material you choose, it needs to be durable and weather-resistant — standing up to all temperatures and conditions. Depending on your personal style, choose planters that add texture and color, like, resin planters. That way, you’ll instantly add an extra element of beauty without even considering plants. A planter can add an accent of color and depth during the colder, less vibrant months.
What to Plant within a Year-Round Garden
You’ll want to select plants that will survive year-round for the most low-maintenance approach. Although this can be easier, it doesn’t look any less beautiful. There is a wide range of evergreens that look enchanting any time of the year. In fact, they often add a lot to a winter landscape. Even one larger tree can make your yard look lusher throughout the winter months.
If you do grow evergreens in planters, ensure that it’s located in an area that will be shielded from winter winds, yet gets enough light during the long summer days. If you choose a small tree, such as a dwarf spruce, you can even move a light wood or plastic planter in order to meet the tree’s immediate needs.
When you choose perennial plants — those which live for two or more years, you can enjoy a year-round garden without needing to undergo an entire makeover each growing season. Depending on the plants you choose and the region you live in, you may need to put certain beds ‘to rest’ for the winter. Once warmer temperatures return, these plants will regrow once again.
Vines are another beautiful addition to your planters — with many being sturdy enough to survive the winter months, blooming in the spring. Vines also look great on fences, adding interest when your garden looks a little bare. Some perennial flowering vines include trumpet vine and honeysuckle — whereas evergreen vines include English ivy and creeping fig.
If you wish, you could also change plants within select planters based on the season. During the autumn months, warm tones of red, orange, and yellow add an inviting element to your garden, balcony, or front porch. During the summer months, bright vibrant colors are often enjoyed.
Regardless, be aware of what a plant’s needs are and plant them according to the most optimal conditions. The easiest way to ensure a successful year-round garden is to make a seasonal chart based on the conditions and climate associated with your zone. This will help you decide when it’s most appropriate to plant, based on the shrubs, trees, flowers, herbs, and vegetables you personally grow.