Planters around supporting pergola posts.

Hi there I am hoping I'll be able to get get some advice on what to do and how to do it correctly on here.
I have built a pergola to the back of my house and now plan to plant vines and climbers from the planters that surround the supporting posts, my question is what do I cover the post with?
A membrane and then plastic sheeting to avoid condensation and rot and for the planter base and sides some membrane only?
What about water and will it dry quickly as there'll be a gap of about 40cm between soil/base and the concrete base?
Could I cover the posts with some rough timber?
Anyway I hope this clears things up for an answer as I don't want to put things in for the timber and base to rot and fall down!
Thanks for reading.
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Posts

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,192
    A bit late now but those posts take up a huge amount of space in the planters so that will severly limit the availability of water and nutrients in the planting medium and thus affect the vigour of any plant you do grow in there.

    Is the bottom of the planter solid concrete?
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • miffxtcmiffxtc Posts: 20
    Hi there, the base is yes. They're supporting this.

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,192
    It looks very good but, I fear, may not be very practical.  To grow well in containers, plants need good compost, regular feeding and watering and good drainage.   

    Your planters already have retsricted space inside which will be further reduce by water-proofing liners for the posts and the inside walls of the containers and you need to find a way to let excess moisture out from the base so they roots don't sit in stagnant water that can't drain away thru solid concrete.

    I would advise you to line both posts and planters with thick plastic and then fill the bottom with coarse grit to half way up and then the rest with John Innes no 3 mixed with added grit and then grow alpines and/or succulents in the planters or any other plant that likes fierce drainage.  If you really want climbers growing up and over the pergola it would be best to plant them in the soil to one side and train them over the top or along the front.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • miffxtcmiffxtc Posts: 20
    Many Thanks, the whole planter of the where I have put in the base? Its concrete at ground level and then there is a timber base 30/40cm from the top of the planter?
    I am really disappointed that it would seem I can't have some grape vines in there, ah well artificial box it may have to be.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 18,192
    Grapes like to get their roots down really deep so no, not a good subject for those planters but you could very easily plant one to train across the pergola and have grapes dripping down as it matures over the years.

    Not artificial box, please!   Lots of real plants would look good there as long as you choose the right growing medium and plants for the situation.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Papi JoPapi Jo Brittany, France Posts: 2,081
    I agree with @Obelixx's remarks. I personally find these planters out of place and impractical. ;)
    You are invited to a virtual visit of my garden (in English or in French).
  • miffxtcmiffxtc Posts: 20
    Obelixx said:
    Grapes like to get their roots down really deep so no, not a good subject for those planters but you could very easily plant one to train across the pergola and have grapes dripping down as it matures over the years.

    Not artificial box, please!   Lots of real plants would look good there as long as you choose the right growing medium and plants for the situation.
    Ha Ha I don't want to have them! What would you recommend? Its about 40cm deep, what would I put in gravel and then a light peat?
  • Kitty 2Kitty 2 ManchesterPosts: 5,120
    I know nothing about growing grapes, but didn't Monty plant his outside in the ground then train the vine inside his greenhouse through a hole in the wall?
    Would that work for miffxtc? 
    It would mean cutting a hole in the side of the planter, but would look like it was growing from inside it.
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Leicestershire, UKPosts: 8,039
    This may be impractical, but how about temporarily taking a side off of the planters (so you can move them) and moving them towards the lawn, so they are each next to a post instead the posts being inside?  You could then fill them and if placed directly on soil the vine roots can grow down as far as they like.
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • PerkiPerki Rossendale - LancashirePosts: 1,626
    I would plant annuals / bedding in them, lots of climbing annuals are nice like cobaea  / Mina lobata / purple Bell vine / morning glory and many more. Could plant trailing plants like petunia etc. You would have to replace the compost every year. Could put some spring bulbs in now if you get round to lining it. They are not big enough for something like grape vines it wouldn't have enough energy to cover much if any of the pergola, grape vines can be grown in pots though but don't get to any substantial size 
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