My Outdoor Planter Round-Up (And Why We Don’t Have a Garden)

I am really inspired by a mix-and-match approach when it comes to outdoor planters. I don’t want all of my furniture in one room to match; I want it to look collected. I feel the same way about collecting pieces outside. Mixing and matching outdoor planter materials can make for beautiful arrangements.

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Choosing Outdoor Planter Materials

When I was looking to make a grouping of outdoor planters, I really wanted some urn-looking ones, some modern ones, some all-weather wicker. Outdoor wicker looks so pretty mixed with stone against our wrought-iron back patio furniture. And there are some great lookalike stone pieces that aren’t heavy, so they really save on weight. I don’t have any terracotta, but when we were at the Biltmore, I was really inspired by the gigantic terracotta pots. I like terracotta as it ages — the weathered look gives “The Secret Garden.”

How to Fill Outdoor Planters

Many of my pots are stone, which is already super heavy, and then you add dirt? Whew, it gets weighty fast. Here’s one way to get around that: You don’t have to fill it all up with dirt. If you have a mix of old 2-liter bottles, you can use those in the bottom to add volume but keep it lightweight. You can also put pinecones in the bottom of the pots if you have those handy (we sure do in North Carolina). For some of our pots that are really big, we start with 2-liter bottles, and then we put in some pebble and dirt to make sure it won’t be 500 pounds. Plus now it can drain easily!

Chris Loves Julia | Stone and concrete outdoor planters with faux boxwood in front of brick house

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How We Use the Outdoor Planters

Once I have the outdoor planters set up, I typically don’t move them much. And, shh!: Most of mine are filled with faux plants. They’re ornamental and low maintenance, and it’s easy to think of them like a piece of furniture or art. We have lots of lovely things growing in our yard, and for now the planters can host gorgeous green (faux) topiaries that really go with our aesthetic.

Why We Gave Up the Garden Idea (For Now)

A few years ago, we planted edible produce in our planters: tomatoes, peppers, herbs, jalapeños. We did kind of a salsa garden and then we added some extra herbs. I know a lot of people who say, “Oh we have so much produce from our garden that we can’t use all of it!” Well, we had the opposite problem. It was a lot of work, and we not only used it all quickly, but the pots looked empty and sad.

Then we thought about doing an in-ground garden. I think it would be fun for a different time in our lives, maybe when our girls are a little older. But we live in a place where there are amazing farmers’ markets, and they’re doing it really well. We feel lucky to have access to such amazing fresh, organic ingredients so close to home.

We’re just not in the season of life where an edible garden makes sense. But someday? Who knows! For now, we tip our hats to the gardeners out there and take pride in collecting planters.

Chris Loves Julia | Outdoor planter round-up of 16 planters
Shop Planters
  1. Wakefield Handmade Ceramic Clay Pot | $66
  2. Wicker Box Planter | $239
  3. Modern Columnar Planter | $49
  4. Augusta Pedestal Planter | $139
  5. Dyer Handmade Pot Planter | $140
  6. Cream Outdoor Planter | $50
  7. Sienna Stone Planter | $399
  8. Cast Stone Planter | $209
  9. Aeros Ceramic Urn | $298
  10. Concrete Fluted Planter | $84
  11. Fiberstone Urn | $156
  12. Chantal Planter | $296

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