After Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans the city was faced with massive losses and a need to rebuild. As part of their rebuild we were asked to help with a beautification project to help on Canal Street. One of the ideas was to line the streets of the city with planters after the devastation.
Planters are a great way to add plants and foliage to a heavily concreted area. Not only are they good for beautifying cities, but they can be great for businesses too that are looking for a more inviting atmosphere. Many businesses have the luxury of putting in flower beds in their store fronts, but some are in the city where front real estate is minimal to non-existent. Others are built already without any planting space so adding planters is the only option.
Many businesses require fences or railings in certain areas to meet codes. I remember an instance where a business had an elevated patio that was one foot off the ground and codes required that they put a fence or barrier there that was at least 24" tall. The customer didn't want an unattractive fence and was able to use two foot tall planters lining the entire border of the patio instead. Since it was an outdoor eating area, it not only satisfied the codes but also made the entire area more inviting and less like a cage. Also, since the boxes were only 24" tall there was more visibility over the boxes to view the back area of the businesses which was an attractive park like area that allowed the space to remain more open and connected.
In addition to using long rectangular planters in a line to match fencing codes, they can also be used as entryway pieces to invite customers into the store. Planters on either side of an entrance are a commonly used method and relatively easy to maintain as they don't require a lot of plants or soil.
When you are purchasing planters for a business there is another consideration you should think about. If you are planting trees and deeply rooted plants it's a good idea to know the size of the root ball of that as well as to how big the root ball will get. This way you are ordering planters that are sufficient in size and know they won't get outgrown. In some instances if you are just planting flowers but need a tall planter you can have a false bottom put into the planter. For example if the planters are two feet tall but you are planting flowers that only need 6-8 inches of planting root space you can severely cut down on your weight and costs by having a false bottom inserted into the planter 6-8 inches from the top. This can drastically reduce the planting costs and weights of the planters.
In some instances the planters can even be made on wheels so that they are movable. This can come in handy for businesses that may want to roll the planters in during different seasons or change the layout from time to time to fit their needs.
About the Author
Matthew Buquoi is the owner of Flower Window Boxes, a PVC planter company specializing in making custom planters of any size and customization to fit their customers needs.