Mailbox gardens dress up plain posts and give you a chance to flaunt some color at the curb. A standard mailbox garden may not be an option for you if you have limited space around the foot of your mailbox post or if the soil quality is poor. Even if you can't plant flowering plants near the curb, you can add curb appeal with container gardens in pots designed to wrap around a mailbox post.
Many homeowners have compelling reasons for planting in pots around a mailbox post instead of directly in the ground. The garden design must permit simple access to the mailbox while protecting plants from foot traffic. The planting area may be constricted by sidewalks, paths and the roadway. In many areas, the soil around the mailbox may be contaminated by road salt and ice melt chemicals. When you plant in a container, you maintain access to the mailbox, protect the plants from trampling and eliminate the possibility of contamination with salt, chemicals and other road runoff.
Split plant pots are among the simplest solutions to planting a mailbox garden without planting in the ground. Some designs consist of two or more pots that fit together, leaving a square opening in the center to fit the pots around a mailbox post. Manufacturers make a range of flowerpots designed to mount on mailbox posts, and and the range includes sets in several sizes to create staggered vertical gardens. Many garden supply stores and online retailers sell such flowerpots.
Split Pot Post Mounts
A mailbox planter usually mounts on specially designed metal brackets that screw into a wooden mailbox post. Most of the planters fit a standard 4-by-4-inch wooden post, and their manufacturers' instructions specifically state that the planters should not be mounted on vinyl posts smaller than 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 inches. If you want to mount a wraparound mailbox planter on a smaller post, then make a 4-by-4-inch wooden enclosure for the post and mount the planter on the wood.
If your mailbox is a considerable distance from your house, then using a self-watering planter or drought-resistant plants will keep the watering chore to a minimum. Purslane, also called pusley (Portulaca oleracea), is drought-tolerant and hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 11. Roadside garden plants also have to contend with exhaust fumes and reflected heat from the street surface. Fan flower (Scaevola aemula) can handle heat; it is perennial in USDA zones 10 through 11 and thrives as an annual in other zones. Taller plants could obstruct access to the mailbox. Plant close to the mailbox post to create vertical interest, and let trailing plants fall over the planter's edge to give your garden motion and shape.