Using Wooden Containers in your Garden

A trug with plants make an attractive feature
Please share this with friends and family

In this article, we will be discussing what you would want to use wooden containers in your garden. In previous articles, I have discussed terracotta pots and plastic containers, but in this article, we turn our attention to wooden containers. Wooden containers tend to come in a variety of shapes, sizes and styles and are often seen in gardens.


You will find wooden half planter and other containers to give a rustic feel to any garden, especially so if the container comes with their rough bark left on.

A trug with plants make an attractive feature
A trug with plants make an attractive feature

You can also use formal planters that are small and made out of hardwoods. Versailles planters that are formal square boxes that are painted and have knobs on each corner can be used to take your wooden container display to the next level.

Normally manufacturers of fence panels, trellises and pergolas often make matching wooden containers and planters that tend to blend into to give a coordinated look. As you can imagine, you do have a wide choice.

The beauty of wooden container compared to any other types is that it is easier to make your own container. You can use offcuts to make effective rustic type, simple containers, whilst deep baseboards can be fitted together to make your unique planter. You can design them to any shape or size, which is great for the budding DIYers amongst us.


The biggest disadvantage of all wooden containers is that they will rot in damp conditions and therefore they will need protection from damp to survive.

Most wooden containers, you buy and the wood you use has been treated with a wood preserver. This may not be enough and a second coat of wood paint, stain or varnish may be required, especially if you want a long-lasting planter.

Do not plant and use the container the next day, as the preservative could affect the plant within it. It is better to paint the container and wait several weeks to ensure that the plants you use are safe from being exposed to potential toxins.


To help preserve the wood further, it is best to line the inside of wooden containers with a plastic lining as this will keep the growing media and timber separated. It is best to push the lining down through the central drainage hole, making sure the container is elevated above the ground.

This will ensure that air circulation is maintained underneath, as this will prevent the wood rooting. It may be advised to have your wooden planter on feet, as this will minimise the contact with the wet ground.

You can also stain or varnish or paint wood any colour of the rainbow, which makes it one of the most versatile of all planter. It is great if you want to personalise the wooden containers you can have in the garden. You can go for really bold colours.


 Wooden Barrel

You can find wooden barrels recycled in the garden. They can be of any size and depth and tend to be suitable for large plants like big shrubs. As you can imagine, once filled with compost and plants they can be very heavy to move. It is recommended to position it in its final location before you actually put the compost in and the plants in.

 Wooden Wheelbarrow

This is a character wood container and miniature version is a perfect scale for carpet plants like polyanthus. Wooden wheelbarrows make a great feature statement in the garden.


An ornamental trug that is made from thin pieces of wood, steamed and bent into shape, look stunning when bedding plants are used within. It is best to plant the trug with pretty little flowers, so it really catches your eyes. Wicker baskets also make an attractive natural-style container that suits a wide range of plants and planting styles.

They are stylish, lightweight and do not crack and avoid the drawbacks of some types of outdoor containers. It is best to create stunning tropical-looking display by using exotics such as cordylines, abutilon and hardy hibiscus as specimen plants grouped together.

You can create a more rustic display by using annual bedding flowers grouped in a single container. A very versatile material of construction. Unusual use of wickerwork is to use it as a wall planter that has a succession of potted plants, like crocuses and primroses.


Baskets make ideal wooden containers that look stunning with linear-leaved plants, such as bamboo and grasses.  For a more traditional effect, perennials such as Pelargoniums, gazania and others make a great display. These baskets look great, especially if they are woven by hand.

An interesting display can be made by planting seasonal flowers, just approaching their best, into plastic-lined baskets lined with moss. This will make an instant impression in any home or garden.


For oak half barrels, it is best to use either large shrubs or a mixture of woodland plants, such as Violas. Lily of the valley and dwarf rhododendrons. Alternatively, you can use a collection of hostas. Clematises trained up obelisks, look stunning in large cedar tubs, whilst spiral box or standard bay, and standard –trained citrus tree look their best in Versailles planters.

A great effective plant for wooden tubs is Gaultheria mucronata, Choisya ternata, winter flowering heather and Chamaecyparis pisifera, all planted together, as it will simply look stunning.

If you are going for plants in containers, woody shrubs and woodland plants tend to look the best. Clematises, in particular, look their best in wooden containers, and so does ivy. In fact, any naturalistic plants will look their best in wooden containers,


In this article, we have discussed the various wooden containers that can be used in the garden. You have such a wide choice with wood that you can either buy already made or you have the option that you can make it yourself. They will need to be preserved further and lined with plastic, but if you do this. You should get many years of service.

They are versatile and you can grow large plants in them and you can grow various woodland plants. You have a large choice of types and you can fill your heart content with what plants you want to use within them.

If you have any questions or comments that you wish to make, please do so in the comment box below.

Do not be wooden but instead use wooden containers in the garden.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *