Materials and shapes of the planter
The planters can differ depending on the shape, ranging from the classic rectangular models to the round ones, up to those that integrate seats and waste baskets. These elements are often shaped according to specific needs and, if required, also customized. From the point of view of width, the planter can vary according to the need and size of the space to be designed. Once you have chosen shape and size, you can opt for one plant species rather than another, in order to ensure harmony between the parts and give added value to the context.
As for the materials, urban planters
can be concrete, wood, iron and stone. The former represent the most widespread solutions, suitable for outdoor and very heavy environments, they are destined to occupy a fixed position in public spaces in our cities. The shapes can vary, more squared or rounded, chosen according to the style and spatial connotations. Often, this type is used to contain heavy plants and shrubs, thanks to its remarkable capabilities. The further advantage is represented by the high resistance to atmospheric agents and the action of UV rays.
Example of a classic concrete planter
Wooden planters are less common, as they are more delicate and cost more. Usually the most used essence is rattan, a fiber also used for outdoor furniture. Resistant to the action of water, it is one of the most appreciated natural materials and is combined with plant species such as palm.
Wrought iron, steel and metal, on the other hand, are used when you need to customize the planters and give them a particular look. The vase can be made entirely of steel or only partially, in this case placed next to concrete or stone. Costs and durability over time vary according to the decorations and the type of maintenance, while unlike stone planters, these are not able to support heavy weights.
Example of stainless steel planters
Stormwater planter box, alternative to the planter
Considered a full-fledged planter but with a different purpose, the stormwater box is nothing more than a tank that can be planted green and that contributes to the recovery of rainwater. Usually positioned close to buildings and near the vertical elements used for the outflow of water, this urban component is increasingly widespread.
It is a solution designed to be inserted on surfaces that are unable to absorb rainwater that affects the floor. For this reason, they are found in public open spaces such as squares, traffic roundabouts and pedestrian streets. The drainage system involves a stratification of materials, such as sand, gravel and soil, capable of filtering and purifying rainwater. Unlike the tanks positioned near the eaves of buildings, the stormwater boxes inserted in public open areas filter the amount of rain that falls directly into them.
Drainage systems with stormwater planter boxes at the University of Portland
In addition to making urban spaces more aesthetically pleasing, such as classic flower boxes, these particular elements for water recovery bring benefits to atmospheric quality and contribute to the increase of permeable surfaces within the urban context. For this reason, stormwater planter boxes
are now considered an optimal solution from the point of view of environmental sustainability.
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