The Bottomless Planter Box from Outerior Decor

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I’ve been lucky enough over the previous months to get an inside peek into the making of Amy Stewart’s cocktail garden to celebrate her new Drunken Botanist book, and have gotten to look at a number of clever products and construction techniques along the way. One of those clever products is the Outerior Décor series of planter box kits. While the idea of mail-ordering a planter box was one that had never occurred to me before, a planter box that comes in a kit is actually pretty workable. It arrived in a long, flat box with the panels stacked on top of one another, and it has pre-drilled holes so you can put it together with a screwdriver rather than needing any kind of power tool.

But I haven’t gotten to the cleverest part: the bottom is optional. Since you construct it yourself, you can choose whether or not you want the bottom on there. Obviously if you’re placing the box on concrete you’d want a base, but for situations like the one above – where you want a little more height to enhance a skinny planter bed – having a bottomless planter has a lot of advantages. No issues with drainage, and if the plant starts to have a tight fit in the box, it can sink its roots into the soil below and make itself comfortable.

These planters are available in four sizes:

The Churchill – 60 inches The Gran Robusto – 48 inches The Robusto – 40 inches The Latte Square – 15 inches While the one surprise to me was that the sides are a little thin, the fact that they have a thicker molding across the top seems to give them more structural support. They certainly felt sound once they were settled into place and filled with soil. As an eerie Halloween aside, the manufacturer tells me the boxes are made of Chinese cedar (Cunninghamia lanceolata), the same type of rot-resistant wood that has been used to build coffins in China for hundreds of years. Spooky!

 

Comments

  1. A. Marina Fournier says

    We’ve had to leave our owned home and rent for a while, due to some financial reverses. The good thing? May get overbids/multiple offers, which would leave us just under what we paid for the house.

    However, renting again. Sigh. I brought some of my roses and trees, but they are NOT getting planted here: they are in planters and tubs. The ground needs work before it can become plantable soil.

    Meanwhile, I’ve got these bulbs. How did I come to have *69* saffron bulbs? There’s plenty places where tomatoes will thrive. Some annuals would be nice. I’d buy planters if we had any money left from the move, and after the house is paid for, we’re still on the tight side of the budget for a while.

    What’s a deprived gardener to do, but hope she gets one of these wonderful cedar planters? A Churchill would be lovely to have at the edge of what passes for a patio, and perhaps I could have tomatoes AND bulbs planted in it–not to forget the marigolds and basil for the tomatoes.

  2. April says

    That’s really beautiful! I would definitely do as shown, and add height to a bed and then probably leave the bottom out. We just had a patio poured on the south side of the house, and I want to put a small kitchen garden back there since it’s full sun. Any size would work, but the bigger the better since there would be more room for plants :) So I guess Churchill

  3. Annie says

    I’d appreciate a Gran Robusto – we’ve just started growing vegetables among the perennials, and this would make a good spot for them. I’d use hardware cloth for the underside to keep gophers out.

  4. Lindsey says

    Who could possibly say “no” to a 5ft long planting box? Certainly not me! Sign me up for the Churchill, please.

    As an apartment dweller, this would be the best thing that ever happened to my little patio. I can already see the mixture of edibles and ornamentals spilling over its sides…Swiss chard and cilantro and basil and ornamental sweet potato vines and solenostemon and fuchsias. The neighbors would be oh so jealous.

  5. Catherine says

    I have the perfect spot for a gran robusto and would love to give this product a try. Thanks for the giveaway and the great blog!

  6. says

    I”m not a container guy, but my wife loves putting things in pots and “pot” has a wide definition in her book. Pansies, portulaca, sedums, etc. find their way into my old work boots, junk shop tea kettles, chimney flues, who knows what she’ll use next. You could make my cute, sturdy urban farm wife one happy gal with the biggest cedar planter.

  7. says

    Gran Robusto or Churchill would work for me. I’d love to win one cuz I am limping around the house with a cane worrying about how I will garden next spring. I assume the measurement refers to how wide the front of the box is? Thanks for the chance.

  8. says

    I think the Gran Robusto would do me up just fine! And since it would only take up one side of the front patio, I’d obviously have to buy a second one to balance it out. :-)

  9. Fred Karp says

    I think I’ve been overly fussy putting in raised beds: dig up lawn, shake out the dirt square by square. I’d love to just plop down a Churchill or a Robusto, fill it up, plant and not have to do all that ground work.

  10. Kate says

    I’d love to win the Churchill planter- I’ve got a perfect spot for it on my patio. It’d be great to plant some herbs next year. Thanks!

  11. Coco Thorpe says

    I’d love to have a large one of these to help with my project of turning unused driveway into garden. Thanks, Gen!

  12. Kamille H says

    Gophers ate through the hardware cloth bottom of my tomato planter box in 1 season! So I’d love to test out these boxes as an alternative to what I used this year.

  13. Julie says

    My nana came to live with me about 3 years ago. She wants to do so much and is finding it hard to remember that she isnt “a spring chicken”. These boxes look wonderful like they would perfect for her to putter in while sitting in a chair, or standing over.

  14. Deirdre says

    I have just the right place on the patio for a Churchill with maybe some chicken wire across the top to keep the chickens out of the soil.

  15. says

    What a cool planter! I think the Gran Robusto would suit me just fine. I’d like to move my herbs out of my raised veggie beds and into a bed of their own, and that would work.

  16. says

    I’d love to have a gran robusto, it would add wonders to my now-limited gardening space on an apartment balcony. With something fitted into the bottom, of course…

  17. JuliaFay says

    The churchill would be perfect for my patio!! I would plant a little kitchen garden full of herbs and lettuce. I love the easy construction.

  18. Karen says

    Gran Robusto sounds like a nickname for a Grandma – she’d be happy on my back patio, filled with tasties for the kitchen!

  19. Judith says

    The Gran Robusto for this country gardener, please. It would save me walking down to the garden every time I need a few snips of herbs or a salad. And it would do so in great style. Thanks for the offer.

  20. says

    I have a huge front yard that is gearing up for a complete replanting. I think the 60-inch size would be a great foundation for the new landscaping. Thank you!

  21. Valerie says

    What a great way to add vertical growing space to a limited horizontal area! I would be thrilled with the 60″ planter. Thanks for all your innovative ideas.

  22. Lizabeth says

    A Robusto would work great on my balcony for herbs and veggies. My condo board doesn’t let us plant non-flowers in the beds downstairs by the door :( I do lust after the Churchill but I don’t think it will work as well!

  23. Nell Wade says

    I have always wanted to plant bamboo but living in California they have quite a reputation for being invasive. A container like the Churchill would be perfect to try my hand at a sustainable, yet within bounds bamboo “grove”.

  24. Corrine says

    Long lasting raised beds to counter our heavy, wet, cold soils in spring. Cheers for the Churchill to do the job!

  25. Tom Mann says

    The Robusto or Grand Robusto would look great down by the pond, filled with Caladiums and Elephant Ears. Thanks for the opportunity!

  26. says

    Gen, These look like very versatile planters. I’d love the Gran Robusto. I have the perfect spot for it on my brick patio. I’d use it to grow some ‘deer candy’ plants that I could enjoy without having to worry about the deer nibbling them.

  27. BetsyM says

    I could really use a robusto, I’m taking back my new yard from maple trees and hawkweed. the hawkweed is the worst! A large planter could make a big impact on the hawkweed background.

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