Planting containers the answer to small spaces

POTS: There are a number of different types of plant containers. Photo credit: Pixabay

WITH many in Spain having small gardens – or even just a balcony or a patio – the alternative is to use containers to add a little colour or greenery to the property.

You can create beautiful displays using many kinds of garden plants for seasonal interest.

Containers come into their own when space is limited and you can move and arrange plants more easily than those in the ground. There are a few tricks and techniques to master, so you can create containers to impress.

Clay or terracotta

Looks very attractive, but tends to dry out more quickly than plastic. Clay or terracotta pots are also prone to cracking caused by frost. Look out for frost-proof pots, or stand pots on ‘feet’ over winter to prevent them becoming waterlogged, therefore reducing the risk of frost damage. They may also be more expensive.


Lighter than clay and don’t dry out as much as clay or terracotta. There is now a wide range of plastic pots available – some even look like terracotta pots – and may be cheaper but not as authentic in appearance.


This is a very popular material, with a modern look. Metal containers are frost-proof and won’t dry out like clay. The problem is they heat up quickly in summer, and likewise, are very cold in winter. The other potential problem is corrosion.


Half barrels are popular for growing fruit trees. Wood is problematic in that it rots. You can extend the lifespan of a wooden container by lining it with plastic sheeting with holes in the bottom and painting the wood with a preserver.

Other materials

Empty compost bags are ideal for growing potatoes. Other household items such as old pots, baths, jars and tins also make