Gardening is one of the hottest hobbies of the moment. Even people who have never before picked up a trowel are now growing their own flowers, vegetables, and herbs.
But for those of us who rent (myself included) or who don’t have extra room in their backyard, cultivating a lush garden can feel like a far-off dream.
Digging an in-ground garden bed might not be an option for everyone. However, starting a container garden is. All you need is the right planter box design to get started!
25+ Planter Box Design Ideas:
- Wooden Crate
- Winter Evergreen Window Box
- Raised Vegetable Garden
- Hanging Planter
- Succulent Window Box
- Vertical Herb Pallet
- Ornamental Grass
- DIY Wall-Mounted Planter
- Wooden Wheelbarrow
- Desert Cactus
- Square Foot Garden Grid
- Raised Garden with Bench
- Hanging Letterbox
- Recycled Water Bottle
- Painted Plastic Bottle
- Holiday Ornaments
- Hollow Log
- Spring Bulbs
- Modern Bench
- Rustic Trough
- Chic Deck Seating
- Autumn Harvest
- Stacked Planters
- Wine Barrel
- Integrated Railing
- Wall-Mounted Rack
1. Wooden Crate
A wooden crate is a ready-made planter box that can be filled with flowers, vegetables, herbs, and more. It also offers the freedom to place your planter arrangement wherever you please — no need to commit to one location!
This is a great project for an old crate that’s seen better days or for anyone who dabbles in woodworking. You can add soil to the crate itself or place smaller containers inside.
2. Winter Evergreen Window Box
When the temperature drops and winter is just around the corner, it can be difficult to know what to do with your summer planters. Swapping out bright annuals for evergreen branches is an excellent way to update window boxes for the winter months.
Tuck in dried flowers, pinecones, and red berries to complete the look. You can also recreate this design with faux greenery that will survive year after year.
3. Raised Vegetable Garden
The backyard garden is the ideal spot to grow your own produce. But bending over can be hard on the back. And that’s not to mention the wear and tear on your knees!
A raised planter box offers all of the awesome benefits of an in-ground bed without any of the digging or joint pain. This is an excellent solution for renters who can’t change their homes’ existing landscape as well.
4. Hanging Planter
Hanging planters are a wonderful way to maximize greenery when outdoor space is limited. These chain-mounted planter boxes are the perfect size for your favorite herbs or a handful of annual flowers.
If you build your own wooden planter boxes, you can easily customize the size and chain length to suit your needs.
5. Succulent Window Box
Succulents are one of the trendiest plant families of the moment. These drought-tolerant plants come in all different shapes, sizes, and colors. Many even produce out-of-this-world flowers.
A succulent planter box is ideal for any sunny spot that doesn’t get much rain. There’s no need to worry about forgetting to water your planter box for a few days!
6. Vertical Herb Pallet
Herbs are incredibly easy to grow and can help expand your culinary horizons. A DIY hanging pallet planter is a great place to start your herb garden without taking up valuable backyard space.
Pallets are easy to come by and offer a great opportunity to recycle. This planter box features hand-drawn labels for each herb but you can finish your pallet however you see fit.
7. Ornamental Grass
Flowers aren’t the only thing you can grow in an annual planter box. Ornamental grasses are an intriguing addition to container gardening. Many species are available to fit all sizes of planters.
Mix and match your favorite ornamental grass varieties with common flowers or plant them alone for a modern look.
8. DIY Wall-Mounted Planter
This vertical planter box is just one example of an easy DIY project that can be completed with little more than an old wooden pallet and some basic tools. It can be scaled up or down to accommodate all of your favorite herbs, vegetables, or flowers.
Hang your handmade planter box from a privacy fence or exterior wall to add life and color to your backyard. All it takes is a coat of paint to match the rest of your patio decor.
9. Wooden Wheelbarrow
Charming garden decor certainly isn’t a new trend. If you want to give your backyard storybook-inspired appeal, consider converting a wooden wheelbarrow or cart into a raised flower bed. Even a modern-day metal wheelbarrow can be converted into a one-of-a-kind planter.
If DIY isn’t your strong suit, no worries. Premade wheelbarrow planters are easy to find at most major landscaping centers.
10. Desert Cactus
Planet Earth is filled with countless climates and biomes. Not everyone lives in a region where pansies and other common flowers will thrive. But cacti will grow in even the most arid conditions.
Fill your planter or window box with sandy soil and hardy cacti species for a one-of-a-kind desert arrangement. Finish the planter with gravel or rock mulch to keep the sand from blowing away.
11. Square Foot Garden Grid
Square foot gardening takes the guesswork out of arranging your herbs and vegetables. You’ll never need to wonder how far apart to plant your carrots or tomatoes again.
This simple planter box design features a built-in grid for spacing out your plants. It’s easy to scale this planter box setup to your exact needs. You can even borrow the grid idea for a pre-existing garden bed!
12. Raised Garden with Bench
Functionality is just as integral to backyard design as it is to our indoor living spaces. And what could be better than a combination planter-and-bench?
This raised planter with built-in bench seating is one of our favorite ideas for adding greenery to a patio or terrace. Fill the planter bed with vegetables and herbs for your kitchen or your favorite ornamental flowers for the most beautiful outdoor seating you’ve ever seen.
13. Hanging Letterbox
A little creativity can go a long way. There are plenty of everyday items that can be converted into awesome planter boxes.
Get your hands on a set of vintage letterboxes to use as hanging planters for your porch or backyard garden. Drill holes in the bottom to prevent waterlogging and root rot.
14. Recycled Water Bottle
Gardening isn’t always about what looks best. Instead of spending a small fortune on vertical planter boxes, try using recycled plastic bottles to start your garden this year.
This setup is perfect for growing salad greens or herbs in a small space. Hang these eco-friendly planters from a fence, balcony railing, or windowsill for the best results.
15. Painted Plastic Bottle
Single-serving water bottles aren’t the only recyclables that can be turned into clever planters. Milk jugs, large water bottles, and other plastic containers are excellent candidates as well.
Understandably, not everyone wants to see the soil around the plants’ roots. Paint your recycled bottle planter to match your backyard’s aesthetic and give your garden a more polished look.
16. Holiday Ornaments
Don’t leave your home’s window boxes empty for the holidays! Rather than worry about keeping winter plants alive, you can always add color and texture using outdoor-safe ornaments.
Fill in the space around your bobbles with faux evergreen branches or the real deal. For a quick and easy DIY alternative to real ornaments, use styrofoam balls covered in paint, glitter, or seasonal fabric. Drape string lights throughout your arrangement for a truly magical experience.
17. Hollow Log
A plain terra cotta planter won’t suit the look of every garden. If you’ve given up finding a planter style that suits your fairytale garden decor, this hollow log container is sure to make your day.
You can recreate this idea with a real wooden log or a plastic replica. Prop your new planter up on small wooden blocks to protect the ground underneath and ensure the soil inside drains properly.
18. Spring Bulbs
Tulips, irises, and daffodils are always a welcome sight after the end of a long winter. But it can be hard to find room in your garden when the prime growing season is right around the corner.
A spring bulb planter box is a great way to celebrate the start of spring without the maintenance of an in-ground garden bed. When the flowers fade, move your planter box into a garage or storage shed to go dormant until next spring.
19. Modern Bench
Greenery is the key to interior and exterior home design that feels warm and alive. Even ultra-modern spaces can benefit from a dose of plant life.
This sleek modern planter box can be replicated indoors or outdoors. Fill the middle section with your favorite ornamental grasses, ferns, or annual flowers for a stunning display.
Living in an apartment or condo often means giving up a large outdoor space. The last thing anyone wants to do is sacrifice their entire balcony to a container garden.
These over-the-railing planter boxes are the ideal space-saving solution to adding greenery to a private balcony. All different sizes and styles are available. You could even cultivate a miniature vegetable garden on the 10th floor!
You can never have too many flower pots. But if your goal is to create a professional-quality floral arrangement, a regular terra cotta pot isn’t always the best option.
A square planter box can be filled with your favorite annuals or a hardy shrub. Place matching planters on each side of your front entryway or use them as accent decor throughout your backyard patio.
<h3id=”rustic-trough”>22. Rustic Trough
Visit your local antique dealer and you’re sure to find countless treasures rescued from old farmhouses and barnyards. Using a wooden trough as a garden container is a great way to give your landscaping a touch of rustic charm.
Not every trough you come across will hold up as an outdoor planter. Be prepared to reinforce your antique find to ensure it lasts for years to come.
23. Chic Deck Seating
You can never have too much outdoor seating. Built-in benches are an excellent option for any deck that’s used for entertaining or as a backyard living space.
This particular design features integrated planter boxes to include greenery throughout your outdoor space without separate containers. Use the garden space to cultivate your favorite herbs and veggies. Or plant tall ornamental grasses for a makeshift privacy screen.
24. Autumn Harvest
Fall weather can be temperamental and unpredictable. Many homeowners leave their window boxes empty during this time because they never know when the temperature will drop below freezing. Instead of taking a risk with live plants, decorate your autumn planters with decorative gourds and ornamental kale.
This arrangement will serve you well until it’s time to put your winter planter designs together or prep for the spring. There’s also no need to remove the soil from your window box for this idea, so you can go right back to your favorite plants when the weather permits.
25. Stacked Planters
One of the most common reasons gardeners turn to planter boxes is a lack of space. Whether you’re gardening on a balcony or in your backyard, stacked planters are the best way to maximize your plantable area.
This is just one example of a stacked planter box design that can be used to grow produce or an ornamental garden. Opt for several small planters rather than one or two large ones for more flexibility in terms of how you set up your container garden.
26. Wine Barrel
Decor made from repurposed items doesn’t just keep waste out of our landfills. It’s also a wonderful way for the average homeowner to save a pretty penny on beautifying their living spaces. Wine barrel planters are a perfect example of this eco-friendly trend.
Converting a wine barrel into a planter box is an incredibly simple DIY project. Old barrels can often be sourced from your local winery or distillery for a small fee — if the barrels are damaged, you may be able to get some for free!
27. Integrated Railing
Balcony gardening isn’t just about conserving floor space. It’s also important to invest in planters that will hold up to harsh weather and wind — you don’t want your hard-earned herbs or vegetables to end up on the ground 30 feet below.
A built-in railing planter is a convenient place to grow small herbs or veggies. Fill the planter box with flowers or ornamental foliage to bring color (and a little bit of privacy) to your patio.
28. Wall-Mounted Rack
When your garden is constantly changing and adapting, few vertical setups offer the amount of flexibility you need. But this wall-mounted rack lets you add, remove, and rearrange planters in a matter of seconds to meet your ever-changing needs.
This specific setup relies on a repurposed pallet to hold the hooks and planter boxes. However, you can also recreate this idea using a wooden privacy fence or your home’s siding.