With the right pots, cold-tolerant plants, colorful twigs, and evergreen boughs, you can put together great-looking containers that will last till the weather warms and even beyond. Here’s how, courtesy of This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook.
Water expands about 9 percent as it turns to ice, so even a one-time freeze can crack containers made of terra-cotta or other brittle, moisture-absorbing materials. Metal, plastic, and fiberglass are safe choices. Some ceramic containers can withstand a freeze, if they’ve been fired at high temperatures. And while standard concrete might break, concrete mixed with polymers stands up better. Wooden planters weather pretty well, too.