Don’t have a green thumb? Don’t worry! You don’t need one if you have a collection of fun unusual planters like these. Line your walkway with them to welcome visitors, or use them to add color and whimsy to your backyard. Just be sure to turn your garden gnomes the other way so they don’t get jealous…
The Minneapolis-based company My Garden Goddess handmakes these wacky planters using “concrete, pigment, love, and sarcasm” — and we certainly believe them. “Chief Garden Goddess” Suzanne Gilbert crafts these two-and-a-half-pound planters by first creating a mold for each of them and then casting concrete in them. An acrylic stain on the concrete gives the planters a patina effect, and they’ve also been coated with a UV protector and a concrete sealer so you can enjoy them for years to come.
Our favorite feature? The nostrils, in which you can plant the greenery of your choosing. The company also designs foot-shaped planters and other unusual containers, which is especially handy (pun intended) if you want to create an anatomical theme in your garden.
The Livi planter was designed with a very philosophical attitude in mind. “We undertook an interdisciplinary approach involving product design, user experience design, as well as landscape and architecture design,” the company explains online. “We actively sought to answer essential questions: What is a planter now vs. what a planter could be? How can a planter change our appreciation of plants and our behaviors toward them? How could a planter turn a plant into something more consequential?”
The end result is a cool planter that clings to your window or inside walls, bringing the garden even closer to home. The Livi is great for apartment dwellers, children who love watching herbs and flowers grow, and people who just want to be near nature.
XYZ Workshop’s designers have won a lot of awards recently for their micro-planter chess set. Why chess? “We were interested in blending the simple, strong geometric forms of the chess pieces with nature,” they explain. “Each chess piece can be planted with specific herbs or succulents to give them a level of individuality and personality — this also allows the player to assign unique textures, colors, and smells to the pieces.”
Interestingly enough, the company also offers a free download of the 3D printer plan for the entire set. Simply print the pieces out and decide whether you want to pop them in the garden for a game al fresco or keep them indoors for a living chess set feature.
Dutch eco-design outfit All Things We Like is known for its locally-made sustainable products. The Wooden Eco-Airplanter comes in a few different shapes and draws inspiration from mid-century Scandinavian design. Modern techniques like laser cutting keep the planter sharp and contemporary, and the company’s porcelain flowerpots are perfect for completing the look.
New York-based company Planter Resource stocks a large variety of planters, from ceramic and cast-iron pieces to fiberglass and terra-cotta ones. Our favorites, however, are these natural birch cylinders, which offer a simple yet effective way to add more nature to your yard. Their unique bark texture brings effortless rustic charm to any garden.