Take a look around most established gardens and planter boxes are sure to feature. From displaying flowers and herbs to being used as an extension or alternative to a vegetable garden, planter boxes are a great way to add structure and interest to your garden.
If you’d like to add a planter box to your outdoor space but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve come up with some creative planter box ideas to help inspire you.
1. DIY planter box
You can buy a huge range of planter boxes but it’s much more fun to create your own! You can build a planter box for a deck, build a planter box around a tree or even make a planter box from concrete.
2. Reclaimed wood planter box
Old scaffold planks are perfect for making rustic garden furniture and planter boxes are no exception. You can use scrap wood that you might have lying around or visit a timber merchant for planks. Here’s a simple tutorial for making a scaffold plank planter.
3. Playhouse planter box
If you have children and space is limited in your garden, try adding planter boxes to their playhouse or a garden shed. We love this slimline playhouse and climbing wall with gorgeous planter boxes outside the windows. The brightly coloured pansies really pop against the dark wood.
4. Bathtub planter
If you’re looking for a large planter box for your garden, an old enamel bath filled with brightly coloured flowers is a great way to make a statement. Try visiting antique shops or house clearance sales if you don’t already own an old bath.
5. Small planter box
Planter boxes don’t have to be large, if you’re short on space or just don’t want a big planter box taking up your garden or patio, there are some great mini versions out there. You can also make your own and get the kids to help. Old colanders make perfectly easy planter boxes as they have ready-made drainage holes! You can also use old wellies, plastic bottles and even old lego!
6. Chest of drawers planter box
If you have the space, and an old chest of drawers, you can create a beautiful and unusual outdoor planter box. Make sure you paint or varnish the wood so it’s protected from the elements and you’ll need to line the drawers with plastic to stop them from rotting. Add a layer of fine gravel for drainage and some good quality soil with a slow-release fertiliser mixed in. Get creative with colourful, trailing plants and blooms in contrasting colours.
7. Patio planter box
Adding a long planter box along the edge of a patio is a great way to get plants into your garden. Use railway sleepers to create custom-sized planter boxes and fill them with flowers, herbs, structured shrubs or vegetables, the choice is yours! If you have the skills, making your own wooden planter box is a great weekend project.
8. Raised vegetable planter box
Do you dream of growing your own vegetables but don’t have space for a kitchen garden? A raised vegetable planter box may be the solution! As the planter’s raised off the ground, it can be placed on grass or a patio. Some come with shelves for storing pots, tools and compost for the ultimate in space-saving practicality.
9. Cheap planter box
Don’t have the budget to buy a planter box? Try upcycling old wooden crates or boxes. You might be able to source old wine or fruit crates from wholesalers or scour the local free ads, it’s always surprising to see what people are giving away.
To make a cheap planter box, you can simply line wooden crates with plastic, or place plants in plastic pots inside. Add a coat of protective varnish and your plants and you’ve got a perfect and completely unique planter box!
Other items that can be successfully upcycled into attractive and unusual planter boxes include old wheelbarrows, ceramic sinks, old suitcases and baskets.
10. Flower planter box
If you love to have a garden full of flowers, planter boxes are the perfect way to display show-stopping blooms. Read our flower box ideas article for more ideas and inspiration.
What can I plant in a planter box?
From cascading flowers and manicured box shrubs to fragrant herbs and tasty vegetables, you can plant virtually anything in your planter box. Some trees are happy to grow in pots, especially bay and olive. Larger trees and shrubs will be happiest in the soil so be sure to research which larger plants are happiest in containers before you buy.
Read more: What can I plant in a flower box?
Have you created an unusual planter box? Let us know in the comments below.