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Ugly containers

I have a dozen or so mature, treasured plants in large/very large, basic style plastic pots...which are incredibly ugly.  I would love to buy some big stone or frost proof terracotta pots but they are probably always going to be beyond what I can afford.

Has anyone ever found something...spray paint maybe or something else?... that successfully improves the look of plastic pots?  Mine are the bog standard, heavy duty plastic in a horrible fake terracotta colour and a nasty green and even though quite old now and a bit green/mossy in places, they still scream plastic.


  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 86,078
    Bit by bit I'm swapping to big matt black plastic pots for things I can't afford really good containers for ... a bit more expensive than the cheap terracotta coloured ones, but they don't scream plastic at you quite so much

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Oh they do really '''disappear" more, don't they?!
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,966
    Everything I've seen done still looks a bit plastic.. no paint or surface treatment really does much for the shape and thin edges.  Could you build square wood boxes to fit around each one?  Something like these?

    You could just place your plastic pots down inside each one.  Leave the bottom off, so it doesn't rot out too quickly, and maybe add a lip of trim around the top to cover the edges of the pot?  With reused lumber, they probabaly wouldn't be too expensive to make.  
    Utah, USA.
  • FireFire Posts: 17,342
    edited June 2018
    The fibre/cotta pots are less dear and look confusing rather than plastic. Also, keep your eyes on Ebay and Gumtree for free pots / bargains. Lots come up near me.

    At the NGS open garden I was helping out at yesterday I had pure pot lust. Enormous pots bought thirty years ago before they became a status symbol. Terracotta is, after all, only clay. I know firing costs, but surely they can't be that expensive to make in a factory. (?)
  • That is a fantastic idea.  Unbelievably, I have a large amount of lovely weathered timber, far too nice to throw away and just awaiting a bit of inspiration I have it, thank you!
  • FireFire Posts: 17,342
    Oh, absolutely - wood is the way to go. I invested in a small electric saw which is an entire delight for sawing up pallets etc.
  • "pot lust"  :)   I know that feeling.  I'm not the least bit a snobby gardener but there is no doubting that a beautiful container can ''make" any plant.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,966
    BIOTD, post some pictures when you get them done!
    Utah, USA.
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,912
    Winter is the best time to buy pots. The local smaller garden centres around here always have good sales on to clear stock. If pots aren't marked as frost proof I just use plastic pots inside them and take the outer pot under cover during the cold months. Plastic liners are also much better for plants that don't like to dry out so don't bin your old pots in a hurry.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Posts: 3,992
    Fire said:
    Terracotta is, after all, only clay. I know firing costs, but surely they can't be that expensive to make in a factory. (?)
    Well, you might say that paintings by Picasso are "only" pieces of canvas covered in paint. They can't be that expensive to make.
    Even if large terracotta pots are not "art" in the same sense as art by famous artists, they have been designed by a craftsman, carefully made, etc. and no doubt deserve their price (not to be confused with cost).
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
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