Written by Terry Smith

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UK’s best garden planters rated on price and quality

This article was last updated on November 28th, 2021 at 4:12 am

A great way to make the garden look beautiful is a well placed set of garden planters, or even more than one set, more favourable than garden platers these days are self watering troughs, which essentially do the same thing but water themselves. The more the merrier in fact! We’ve taken a look at some of the best garden planters available for sale and even expanded our research into half barrel planters and wooden planters. What struck me was just how amazingly good looking some of the plastic planted are becoming – I am not a keen advocate but when some are 100% recycled that can sway me.

Garden planter to enhance the natural feel

So in my review these lovely garden planters will enhance your garden. There’s nothing quite like a nice patio with a barbecue or perhaps an afternoon tea, and some nice garden planters that are easy to maintain carefully placed around you, enhancing the ambience, making a space far more green and pleasant.

It’s been a while since I updated this review – one changed the way my kids and I interacted with the garden together, I also got one pick wrong last time which I’ve corrected 🙂 I think three years of looking at garden planters on, I have nailed you a rounded and quality list from the hundreds available:

Best garden planters to make your vision a reality – editor picks:

Best rattan planter: Simpa 27L 27 Litre Black Large Square Rattan Planter Pot
Best to get kids involved – Set of 10 Metal Hanging Flower Pots Wall Planter can be used as a vertical planter
Best wooden planter: Set of 2 x 120cm RUDDINGS Wooden Trough Planters
Best half barrel planter: Large Burntwood Barrel Planter
Best vegetable planter: Raised Vegetable Planter From Garden Grow
Best budget: Patio Tub Planter 50 cm from Stewart

A few pointers for buying the best planters before you peruse the pictures:

There’s a few things to consider on these before rushing in and buying. For a start you’ll need to consider material, size, and of course design mixed into the all important price! Some planters will literally last a lifetime and get better with age, while others only good for a few seasons – let’s look at those points now:

Material and quality of manufacture

Some materials last better than others. Without question the best material for a long lasting planter is a plastic that doesn’t deteriorate. On this front I’ve had the Patio Tub in my garden and it’s still in good nick a few years on. It’s the same story with the Flower Pots Wall PlantersHowever, I still prefer wood – especially the half barrel planters that have already stood the test of time. It’s with mixed feelings I tell you these old whiskey barrels are now largely turning into smoker wood chips 🙁 but what a flavour they give – trust me on that!

You could also opt for fibre cement as that’s a strong and durable option:

Fibre concrete planters are really strong

Price – wheres the value?

You just can’t ignore the Patio Tub for value for money. Whilst I haven’t you could easily plant a fruit tree in this and pop it on your patio and it would look great. I personally don’t think it’s quite good enough for that but it certainly is good pound for pound. The only planter I think genuinely stands up to this on price in my review is the SimpaYou get two for similar money per unit and they look the part on any patio or decking. However value isn’t always cheap. The RUDDINGS Wooden Trough Planters are practically unbreakable and will last easily a decade – whilst giving a lovely wooden, natural feel to your garden.

Size – picking tall, wide, or even vertical!

If you want a small garden planter then look no further than the Flower Pots Wall Planters. These are beautiful and quaint. Up the other end of the spectrum you have the RUDDINGS Wooden Trough Planters which are seriously big – ideal as herb planters, small shrubs, and you can even make a vegetable patch out of these nearly.

But the troughs aren’t the best for space. If you’re trying to save to save space you might want to look at the growing bags from E-Know. You can stack these up to the clouds if you so choose! There are other options though for balconies or similar:

Vertical planters are great for balconies

Think about your decking and patio – the drainage holes. Some of these planters come without holes. The benefit is that you’ll hopefully keep your patio or decking in good condition under the planter – the obvious problem with this is drainage. Try to workout a way that you slightly raise any planters so that you can get underneath to clean out. Occasionally I blast my cordless pressure washer under my pots – this stops my decking from rotting, and keeps my Indian sandstone stain free. There’s nothing worse than having a change up, moving your pots to realise you need to put them back because of the dirt and stains 🙂

The best garden planters in the UK:

Material: Metal, Diameter Top: 10.5cm, Diameter Bottom: 8.5cm, Height: 10cm

I have to tall you, my kids absolutely love love love these. The vibrant colours and beautiful design makes these my favourite garden planters – I can’t pick them as best though because of the size, I’ve still placed them top though, it’s too much of a personal bias but they have stolen my heart and here’s why.

Up until I bought the kids a gardening set, I hadn’t had much luck involving them frequently – they would lose interest and I tried everything to keep them engaged. Finally this little pot set in combination with the fastest growing vegetables got them really into it and eating some salad – well, at least trying :)! I planted some cress and lettuce and then followed up with spinach, it mean’t almost weekly we had something new to look at and eat – daily if you can’t growth.

The pots are super well made – even with the kids rough handling we had no problems – the vertical planters hand lovely on a trellis and are very very strong. It’s easy to see why this product is attracting so many positive reviews – I am definitely one of them! you can remove the hook too so they become quaint little pots.

They work great indoors without a drainage hole too – be sure you don’t flood your plants though! For outdoor use you might consider putting a few holes in – I didn’t bother to be honest I was just careful with watering. As a result some have been using them for an artificial flower setup – I have to say they look great but these are way too practical for that.

I see some had a few issues one being poor quality painting and another saying flimsy – I have to say they must have got unlucky, these really do look super and I would nearly call them kid proof!

Material: Rattan + Plastic + Rubber, Dimensions approx: 2 Sizes (51 x 26.5 x 26.5 cm) and (44 x 21 x 41 cm)

The Simpa 27L 27 Litre Black Large Square Rattan Planter Pots look lovely and elegant – they’ve made my top pick because without doubt they are the nicest looking, cheap set of garden planters that look quality, but don’t come with the price tag. If you have space constraints and wish to grow plants in the available little space, you can consider this set as they are tall and add class to almost any patio area.

They been designed as a weatherproof (plastic) and durable set to stand different weather conditions. They are pretty much only breakable by force – the soil and plant weight is not a problem at all.

You won’t have any trouble with them staying upright either – surprisingly these are well balanced. The rattan look is hard to pick from even a couple of metres and I appreciate this is starting to sound more like a commercial than a review but that is because they really are lovely for the money and I can easily see a time these are far more expensive, of far more manufacturers making them.

If I had to pick fault it would be that some have been delivered damaged – this is not the manufacturer issue – more so the distribution. All in all a lovely set that will enhance almost any patio / decking space and of course, super low maintenance being plastic.

3. Set of 2 x 120cm Wooden Trough Planters - Large Wood Plant Trough Container Box

The RUDDINGS Set of 2 x 120cm Wooden Trough Planters are my favourite wooden planters. As you can see on the detailed wooden planter review I picked the 90cm ones. For a bit of variety I have gone with the larger ones – this review was missing something big 🙂

These are robust and quality, far more durable in my opinion than the raised wooden vegetable planter I have as an alternative. These come pre-stained and wood treated. That’s a bonus compared to the other pick as well. Furthermore, they are assembled too. So from almost all perspectives they win – unless you want a raised planter of course 🙂

These are ideal for woody herbs, small shrubs, or grasses – they’ll make an excellent vegetable planter as well as looking nice enough to place on a patio or decking – if you want drainage holes you’ll have to drill yourself – it’s a tough one if you’re going to place these on decking or patios in terms of the mess they leave once you remove them.

Overall though the picture tells you everything, solid, look nice, well priced, and excellent quality – wood is always hard to fault as far as planters go

4. Large Burntwood Barrel Planter Will Add Charm and Character to Your Garden

It’s hard to ignore the Large Burntwood Barrel Planter. Being my top pick of all barrel planters it is still the top pick in the overall review too. It looks lovely and well aged. There’s little point going into too much detail as the main review completely breaks it down but the main points I’d bring your attention:

Firstly the price – it’s not often you can get a wooden planter for the same money as plastic, especially when it comes with lovely metal handles – the value really is there.

The burnt wood is not only nice, it also protects very well against the weather as well – no problem leaving these outdoors all year round.

The main complaint is it leaks – unsurprising for a barrel – I would factor that into buying, but also where you locate this planter too.

5. IDEALIST Large Flower Outdoor Garden Planter Floor Pot with Drainage Hole Contemporary Light Concrete Trough Planter

Material: Fiberstone, Dimensions approx: 65 x 19 x 30 cm

If you want to make your garden décor unique, you can go for this planter offered by IDEALIST. It’s a blank canvas but gives a lovely base for different floral arrangement, grasses. As the planter is spacious, you can get multiple flower planting options. It means that you can make the planter colourful and elegant. You can imagine them growing up and over, slightly covering the sides – in an ideal healthy environment for your plants 🙂 – and what is more, this planter comes in three sizes – up to a metre, so you’re sure to find the right fit!

This planter has a long horizontal design with rectangular shape. Both these features give it an attractive appearance and ideally suited to Indian sandstone (light stone) patios and the type of decking that is lightly finished with decking oil, not stain. This will give a lovely contrast for sure. You could also consider this as the base of a fixed door too. I wouldn’t be inclined to put this on a window sill as it’s too heavy but at the base of a window that runs to the floor it gives you some nice cover:

Base of a tall window – this looks super – notice the nice contrast with a light floor

The planter is made out of durable fibre stone concrete, which gives sturdiness to the planter and it can be handled, and moved around full of soil as a result. The fibre stone construction makes it reasonably resistant to wear and tear too so it’s a nice quality garden planter. You’ll notice it’s a concrete cast product – so when it’s removed from the mould you get some deformations around the rim – it on no way detracts from the overall appearance but worth considering if you’re looking for a super sharp modern look.

Material: Plastic, Top diameter: 45 cm, Base Diameter: 21 cm, Height: 37 cm

The good thing about this product is that it is made out of recycled plastic – the best thing is it gives an impressions of being a really luxurious deep ceramic planter – that would explain the rave reviews and I’m a fan too, no question. A massive added bonus is the plastic finish makes these light to move around – unlike the ceramic options. If manufacturers keep producing this effect with recycled materials I can see there will be a big swing toward this style and I think it’s already coming!

Just to be clear as the picture might not tell the story – this is 37cm high with a diameter of 45cm. The picture will give you a bit of a headache because you’re thinking 45cm is larger, but of course this is the diameter, so the planter is rectangular looking – that’s not a deception of the eye

To make sure that the plants you seed in this pot remain healthy and hydrated, the pots come pre-drilled with drainage holes. the great thing about this planter is the colour choices 0 if you follow the link then you’ll find 6 choices and they all look lovely in their own right.

Material: Douglas Fir Wood, Dimensions approx: 73 x 49 x 60 cm

If you are searching for a perfect planter to grow spinach, chillies, potatoes and other such vegetable-based plants in your own home without a huge back garden, you can very well choose this raised vegetable planter from Garden Grow. This is a perfect choice for those looking for gardening in a small-scale you could have this on a balcony in a built up urban area – since I reviewed this product the first time they have reduced the size too, making it even more attractive for small space designs.

The material construction is Douglas Fir, which is a very nice quality softwood – I can see why they can offer a no quibble 2 year guarantee – the likelihood is this will not rot for many many years to come, especially if you stain, varnish, or use teak oil on it when it’s looking tired to spruce it up. If you use a plastic insert it won’t get damaged from the inside either. It would actually dose it up with protection before you plant. When assembled (it has a bit of assembly) is the perfect time to really make this last.

The cross legs are pretty stable – it sits nicely on decking or a flat patio. But the key is definitely the word flat it could even be on a lawn:

Garden grow planter looks lovely

Material: Plastic, Dimensions approx: 2 sizes (35 x 27.3cm) , (50 x 39cm)

This planter has been around for years and that was before I first reviewed it a couple of years ago so well and truly stood the test of time so deserves to stay on the top pick list. Of all the planters I’ve personally tested this is the most robust – as I say in a previous review, the plastid holds up – for the size and price it’s hard not to make this the budget pick and not to gloat too much, but I paid a lot less back then and it’s still a bargain now 🙂 – prices of everything just keep on climbing!

There’s two sizes, I bought the 50cm and it’s more than capable of holding larger plants and small shrubs. I chose vegetables though, and I drilled some holes in the sides so I could plant multiple levels. It hasn’t seemed to affect the structure but follow that at your own risk as I note some have had issues with the quality and thickness of their planter and it easily splitting.

What’s the most surprising though is the weight. I can toss this around the garden empty. When it first arrived I prepared for a heavy lift that wasn’t there – it literally weighs as much as. bag of sugar.

In terms of claiming to be UV resistant, I’ll go with that, I haven’t had much in the way of fading and with 66 litre capacity it’s going to be hard to find a better deal that this. Apart from being lightweight, the handy side-handles make it easier to carry these planters from one place to another – they were smart with the handles – they aren’t loose and floppy, they are sturdy and built in – the loose floppy ones always break off when lifted full of wet soil.

With all this said, would I put a patio fruit tree in it and make a feature out of it? No, I don’t think so, I don’t think it quite looks good enough to be a permanent fixture myself but it’ll definitely last.

To recap it’s a nice planter for flowers, shrubs, and even vegetables, I know some even go with grasses and it looks good too. It’ll sit nicely on any patio or decking setup and doesn’t look cheap or tacky.

Material: Fabric, Diameter: 30cm / 11.81 in, High: 35cm / 13.78 in

I’m afraid I’ve kicked off the Fayrmath in favour of the E-KNOW range on both price and quality. Time has proven them out and this one was better- I am never scared to admit when I am wrong ( I often do pick the bargains early on right) 🙂 but sorry not this time.

The E-KNOW contains six, 10-gallon vegetable planter containers with Velcro flap/handles/window in black colour ideal for growing different vegetables in your home. The improved root structure from using grow bags prevents the roots from tangling with each other. This structure also ensures an overall improved root structure and decreased risk of shock transplantation.

Being a bag you’d think these would be a one season thing – people are getting multiple uses from one so a nice bonus – this is probably because the heavier woven plastic is far more durable than the softer material I’ve been using. I will say this though, the softer material is biodegradable – these will definitely need recycling.

What I like most though is the handles. They won’t break off and give you a headache in five minutes – they are well stitched in and provide plenty of support.

If you want to grow vegetables vertically this has to be a top choice for space saving


About Terry Smith

I’m Terry Smith from gardentoolbox.co.uk, a professional landscape designer, hobbyist gardener, and barbecue fanatic with 20 years experience building and restoring. So as you go through my site you'll watch me document some of the professional garden installs I make as well as the major projects I take on at home. While sharing those experiences and guiding you, I'll be recommending some great tools I use to enable this along the way so you can really buy in confidence. Always feel free to pop me a message: info@gardentoolbox.co.uk

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