The first step in turning your container gardening ideas into reality is choosing the garden pots and containers you want to use. You should choose the pot before buying the plant, unless you are replacing an existing pot or repotting an existing pot plant. There is a wide variety of containers available from nurseries, garden centers and department stores. These containers range from straightforward plastic pots, clay pots and fiber-cement pots to ornamental pots and sculptured terracotta pots, glazed pots and bowls.
Terracotta clay pots are porous and are to the advantage of plants. However it also means that the potting soil in the container will dry out faster than in other types of containers. In time terracotta garden pots will acquire a natural patina due to the mosses and lichens that might grow on the outside and the white salts that will appear on the surface. You can always scrub off the salts if you dislike it. When making use of homemade clay pots you should line the inside with plastic sheeting so as to protect the pot from constant moisture. These clay pots are handmade and unlike their commercially manufactured counterparts, they might not be fired at very high temperatures and might crack or break easily when exposed to all weather types.
Glazed pots, unlike the terracotta pots will keep the potting soil moist longer. On the other hand glazed pots will craze when exposed to weather conditions outside the house. (Crazing is the formation of a web of fine cracks.) You can protect the glaze by painting the glazed surface with a tile or even silicone wax. (Tip: Use a plastic pot inside the glazed pot. It will prevent salts from the potting soil or potting mix seeping under the glaze and damaging it).
Wooden containers, including pots and baskets, will have to be treated against decay and ants before planting in them. The most popular wooden container is the oak vat. (Tip: Line the wooden container with a plastic sheet and ensure that the plastic has sufficient holes for drainage at the bottom).
There are a few basic principles that you need to be aware of when selecting the containers to achieve a successful display in your patio garden or your home garden.
Whatever choice you make regarding container for your container garden, just bear in mind that anything that will hold enough potting soil or potting mix and has a drainage hole can serve as a suitable container for a plant to grow in. One can laugh about it, but I have seen gardeners getting inspired by an old hiking boot, an old bath tub, sink, tins, old tree stumps and even an old wheelbarrow. This is perfectly okay to use as long as it blends in with the surrounding garden.