Thursday, March 20, 2014

My zinc planters: two years later (and my new zinc planters too)

In the summer of 2012, I posted about the new zinc planters I had purchased from Restoration Hardware.

Here is how the planter looked, freshly planted with babywing begonias, ivy, and a Pindo Palm.  I took this picture on a gloriously sunny summer day, and all of our landscaping was fresh and new. Given that we had a mild winter in 2012, the planter and its contents looked great all the way through the winter.

Here is a long view of the pool and the planters, from that same blog post from 2012 (just a reminder that this was taken in the summer!).  As a side note, for more information on the pool color and design process, I wrote a blog post about it here.

Alas, the multiple arctic blasts that we had in Atlanta this winter had a big impact on much of our plantings, in particular the palm trees.  This is how the planter looked yesterday – the palm did not make it. However, I love how the zinc planter has attained a beautiful green-gray patina. I have been pleased with this planter from Restoration Hardware.

I would like a change from the palm, so when we replant in April, I am leaning towards some sort of topiary style tree.  I immediately thought about my favorite townhouse on Wilton Crescent in London when pulling up inspiration pictures. I took this picture last year when I was in London (and included many examples of planters I saw in this post from last year).

London certainly has many inspirational planters, perhaps because so few of the residences have gardens – so the window boxes and planters are the decorative landscape for the city.  Image source.

This is one of my favorite images.  Look how glossy that black door is – and the planters with bay lead topiaries, white flowers, and trailing greenery are the perfect counterbalance to the door. Image source.

I’m not sure if this is in London or Paris but the design of the planters is perfect.

I have collected quite a few topiary tree images in my files, so it is clearly a look that I like.

Since we are going to have to replant the large planters, I decided to go ahead and get some additional planters for the back patio.  The planter designer suggested round zinc planters from Restoration Hardware for this space. This is how the planter looked when it was freshly unpacked.

I took the other planter out of its packaging last weekend, and after only three days (and very heavy rain) it is already getting a nice patina.

When looking for inspiration pictures for the patio planters, I thought of this image. I have lots of boxwoods planted around my garden, but I always like the look of boxwoods in planters, especially with a few white flowers for contrast.

This is a pretty variation on this theme, but with a smaller green bush. I saw this beautiful picture on Pinterest, which lead me to an incredible post by the French Tangerine on the garden and house of one of her friends. 

I was particularly smitten with this citrus tree (maybe kumquat?) from the same post.  I wonder how this would do on my patio?

The cascading greenery in these planters (from the same house) caught my eye.  To see more beautiful images of this house and its incredible landscape, visit the post by the French Tangerine.

This was one of the top pinned images from February (see blog post here). Hydrangeas, fern, and sweet potato vine make a great planter arrangement. From the 2012 Southern Living Idea House by Tracery Interiors and Historical Concepts.  

I occasionally see rosemary topiaries at Scott Antique Market, but never this size. I love the look.  Image source.

I have admired this picture many times, for different reasons, but I have to admit that I never really noticed the planters.  Not only are there two planters flanking the opening, but there appear to be planters in the corners of the outdoor room.  The planters can’t be seen, but I like the flowers that are in them.  Image via Veranda, architecture by McAlpine Tankersley.

I saved this picture originally for the architecture by Ferguson Shamamian, but I am newly appreciating the landscape design and the use of many different planters of all shapes and sizes, with different materials and contents.

I found this pretty image on Pinterest. I like the color scheme of these planters and their contents – purple, green, and cream.

One of my favorite images of a grouping of planters, found on Pinterest.

A wonderful peek into the courtyard of the William Gatewood house in Charleston, taken by the author of In the StudioThe potted lemon trees on pea gravel are beautiful – I wonder if they have to take them inside during the winter?

These almost don’t look real!  I love the shape and the lush nature of the flowers, although I want to stick to white or purple flowers (no pinks or reds for me, even in landscape).

There is something about planters with hydrangea that I love.  This is from the landscape of an old house in Belgium. Note the topiary trees near the house – I wonder if these are in planters?  Image source

Of course, the ultimate hydrangea in planter picture is from the property of a 19th century Southern Gothic cottage designed by Furlow Gatewood (seen on Veranda here).  There is a book on Furlow Gatewood’s Americus, Georgia house that is being released in April; called One Man’s Folly: the Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood, it can be seen on Amazon here.
I’ll post an update after the planters are done – we need to wait until mid-April when the risk of frost is over.  In the meantime, if you have any other inspirational images of planters or ideas for planter materials, please be sure to send them my way – thingsthatinspire@gmail.com.

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  1. I'm getting ready to work on a planter project for my front door entrance. I'm thinking about topiaries too. Do you know of any local sources for them?

  2. I love that simple group of three planters as well! Great to see how those planters have taken on such a nice patina!

  3. Great post! I'm rethinking my pots as well.. Thanks for linking!

  4. I adore zinc planters and your pool is gorgeous! These images are wonderful one reminds me of a from entry in London, they used alot of Zinc planters over there and they are all stunning!

  5. Maureen, my planter person designs and sources the contents. But, I have seen many beautiful items at the Pike's in Buckhead (Roswell Rd or the one near the Lindbergh Marta) and they could probably source something for you. Lush Life and/or Boxwoods on East Andrews are good sources, but expensive.

  6. *Sigh* Your palm looks like my palm...it grew to over seven feet this summer so too large to bring indoors. I guess hope SPRINGS eternal... franki

  7. I LOVE your pool area and landscaping...just beautiful, as is the zinc planter from Restoration Hardware, timeless.
    I have some planters w/ Privet topiaries in them. I found a pretty ivy with a lovely mixture of green/white leaves. I planted this in the bottom of the pot and have twisted it up along the "stem" of the privet. It's simple to maintain and gives a pretty green/white look.
    I also found some beautiful fleur de lis "stakes" and put them in each pot and they peak through the top of the privet...very lovely and yet easy to maintain.
    As always....love your posts! :)

  8. PS You probably want color on the bottom of the topiary. (I do love the look of the privet topiary and how easy it is to maintain and this would be pretty with annuals in the bottom of the pot.) :)

  9. I'm happy to know the Restoration Hardware planters hold up to extreme weather. I love this post and will need to pin most of these images, thank you. This is just the inspiration I need to get started working on some of my empty planters.

  10. Beautiful planters all. Next winter pull it into your garage and the largest plants should make it -you don't even need to really water them much. We meant to cover some new plantings in the back courtyard with burlap but never got around to it until too late -all dead! so sad

  11. What beautiful inspirations this blog provided!
    To reply to your question about the lemon trees in Charleston, SC… unfortunately, this winter (in Charleston) was as bizarre as Atlanta’s. And, yes, with all the below freezing temps we’ve had, the lemon trees would have had to been protected.
    But, after reading your beautiful, spring-like blog today, I can only hope that future winters will not be as harsh. We are getting ready to move into a new house, and hope to plant many planters… I guess to play it safe, it would be prudent to use cold hardy plants!
    Barbara in Charleston

  12. So much to love here....love your backyard and planters and must say RH really did a great job with them....I just cannot wait till everything starts turning green and blooming again! I look forward to filling my planters and making regular stops to my favorite nursery:) Beautiful Holly!

  13. Holly I have just started working on my terrace and it is always so fun and interesting making the choices of flowers, fauna, and planters!!

    The Arts by Karena

  14. Wow -- breathtaking!
    Nobody loves the topiary more than I do!
    I had a coleus topiary; I'll have to e-mail you a snapshot.
    TY for the beautiful photos!

  15. These images are GORGEOUS. It makes me want to garden right.now. Of course, we still have snow in the yard, so that's not possible! Thanks for the inspiration though, and the hope that spring really is out there somewhere!

  16. So many great ideas here Holly! Know I'll be referring back to this post when I start planting up all my pots! Always enjoy your posts! Barbara P from Ma

  17. Holly, each photograph is stunning! Your pool and landscaping is gorgeous, thanks for sharing so many beautiful ideas!

  18. LOVE potted plants! thanks for the inspiration-i needed it!

  19. Some fab planters! Gorgeous photos, especially the one of your pool!…xv


  20. The glorious Furlow Gatewood drive remains my favourite.

  21. I have worked with concrete a lot in the yard, even with my kids in little weekend projects. Last year, we made some planters like the ones in this post for Mom on Mother's Day. We made the forms, got the Quik Crete and had a blast. It is pretty simple to make basic forms. If you want to have patters, swirls, etc., then you can buy forms as well to make more elaborate pieces. - James Wright - Home Improvement Manager at Harry Helmet.


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