Planter Box Ideas

Create a colorful and long-lasting planter for your front walk or backyard patio. Add unusual foliage and texture to the planter for an interesting design. During the cool seasons of fall and winter, bring in cool-weather plants to ensure rich colors throughout the landscape. To ensure the flowers within the planter box flourish and thrive, use nutrient-rich compost and potting soils.

Miniature Herb Garden

Plant lush, fragrant herbs within you planter for your own miniature herb garden. To create your own herb planter, start by growing taller herbs like basil, cilantro and dill in the back of the planter. Their upright, tall form creates a backdrop for smaller herbs and makes for a well-balanced planter. Medium-sized herbs like sage and chives fill out the planter box with their billowing shape and are ideal tucked in the middle of the planter. Other filling herbs like mint and savory look brilliant nestled within the planter box and provide an aromatic touch. Trailers and creepers like thyme and oregano cascade over the planter edges and look striking planted along the front and sides of the planter. Trailers help to define the planter box and are perfect flanking the other herbs. To keep the herbs moist and healthy, water and fertilize them on a regular basis. When the temperatures soar, herbs also benefit from a 1- or 2-inch layer of mulch over the soil to help them retain water.

Unfussy Summer Blooms

Planter boxes filled with summer-loving, unfussy blooms provide a low-maintenance addition to your outdoor space. Summertime is also the time for high heat and little moisture. To create a colorful yet easy-to-maintain planter, grow drought-tolerant flowers within the box. Drought-tolerant flowers like coreopsis add bright bursts of yellowish orange to the planter. Their low, moundlike shape and lacelike foliage is ideal tucked within the planter. Another drought-tolerant summer plant is the aster. Asters are tough perennials that tolerate any soil type. Their bluish-purple blooms grow almost 3 inches wide and emerge in early summer to last through the fall. Asters also come back each year fuller and healthier, to create a long-lasting planter design.

Cool-Season Color

Just because the temperature drops doesn't mean your planter has to suffer. In fact, there are many colorful, cool-season plants to grow within your planter box. Showy ornamental cabbages and kales withstand cold weather while retaining their brilliant colors of purple, pink, white and creamy yellow. Nestled into the planter, their frilly leaves grow 1 to 2 feet tall, creating a classic design to the planter box. Alongside the cabbages, plant varieties of violas. Violas are a relative to the pansy but smaller in size. Their colors include yellow, white, purple and cream. Some are variegated with more than one color swirled together. Violas are also fragrant and will add a sweet scent to your planter box.

Keywords: planter box ideas, herb garden, summer loving planter, cool-season planter

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.