My all time favorite container to use in the garden is the modest wooden wine barrel. Here in the Okanagan Valley we are home to hundreds of wineries and vineyards. Wine barrels are numerous and once they are no longer useful in the winery operations they are often cut in half and sold for planters at reasonable prices.
What makes barrels such good containers for growing?
Made of natural wood so they breath.
A few holes in the bottom makes for good drainage, and the wood itself will eventually allow excess moisture to escape.
They are a good size and depth to support substantial plants, both annuals, perennials and even small shrubs.
Barrels have a natural beauty in the garden.
They do not break easily, in fact they are very strong.
They are frost resistant.
They last a very long time before finally giving way to rot.
When you are finished with them they are biodegradable.
They are not overly expensive.
They are suitable for both flowers and vegetables.
I like to plant annuals in them and place them in the garden for a punch of color in an otherwise dull area. I’ve also made them into mini gardens which are great fun to build. They are large enough to create a serious mini display or fairy garden if you wish.
They make excellent containers for a child’s garden. Large enough to plant a variety of small vegetables plus a few flowers. They are the perfect height as well for little ones.
Even in the depth of winter, a wine barrel in the garden is still effective.
Wine barrels are most often cut in half across the width but as you can see in the pictures they can also be cut along the length. Lost of growing area when cut that way.
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