About adambarnes

Adam Christopher is a designer with an automotive background. Having studied transport design at university he went on to become a toy designer in Denmark for LEGO. From there he has been building a reputation for interesting concrete designs and flowing, beautiful sculpture

I was recently walking around London and realised just how many planters and flower pots there are. It sounds like a silly thing for a concrete planter designer and producer not to have noticed but there really are so many and we just pass them by. I think it’s a situation where you would miss them it they weren’t there but they blend into the landscape when they are. 

Garden design like many other forms of design starts off life by putting pen to paper and sketching something out. I see many nice gardens, contemporary or traditional, all over the internet and I they are all inspiring works. So inspiring in fact that I decided to paint the images so have a look and see what you think.

With websites like Etsy and Houzz the internet is a wash with creative souls getting out their dirty clothes and making stuff. One of the most popular it seems is concrete flower pots in tiny incarnations with succulents and cacti  nestled inside. They weren’t the first though as concrete has long been used for flower pots due to its strength and durability.

In recent times though concrete has developed an image of style and class with many top designers and architects  using it in their ideas. There are now a few companies that make stylish planters but use this old school material to give it a designer edge.

Vertical gardens? What the bajingle is one of the those? Some clever sole invented a racking system that enables you to put lots of tessellating plant pots next to each other to give the impression of a full wall of vegetation. That’s the quick answer anyway but since then the art has evolved and there are other solution. The point is though that it gives designers and owners and opportunity to add a new dimension and use plants that would otherwise have been ignored.

Interior landscaping is something that many of us will never have to worry about but for large buildings like hotels, shopping centres and corporate head quarters they often have large foyers or atrium’s that can feel a bit empty. Sure there is something impressive about a large emtpy space but there is something welcoming about filling that space with some life. That is where interior landscapes come in and as you will see they can span from inbuilt ponds to just nicely scattered flower pots.

A feature planter is a flower pots, usually large in size, that is set in a position that makes it a focal point in the garden or interior. There are many different planters out there and it is often not only the design of the pot but also the design of the surroundings that make the concept work.

We all know what shape comes to mind when we say flower pot, sadly not my own concrete planters, but the iconic tapered design. This is a pot that is seen the world over from cheap high street retailers to designer boutiques, so why is it so globally successful?

The use of rectangular planters can be from simply holding plants to actually dividing space. The shape of these planters mean that they lend themselves to being used as space dividers either indoors or outdoors. They obviously aren’t sound proof so if it’s just a segregation of zones you are after then this could work well.

It seems that if you want nice planters or flower pots then a good place to head is the North European coast. I have come across more than one supplier of high end, large planters and the sources are usually Belgium or Holland. I can’t explain this but I guess from a geographical point of view it it’s pretty well connected in Europe and it not land locked so can get supplies in and out easily. Belgium and Holland also have a good design style that is less exuberant and more universal than southern European producers.

As I always say concrete is not only great for making planters and flower pots but also many other things. In fact in recent times it has seen a resergence in popularity and companies are trying to create the effect of concrete but with better suited materials. Concrete is a great material for compressive requirements but it’s pretty rubbish for tensile or flexural strength. Worktops are a good example of where concrete is used but it isn’t optimal for the use. It will stain easily with kitchen use, (which could be regarded as charming) and will chip when you drop something on the edge, not so charming.

Let have a look at some products in concrete or concrete effect material.

It would be a bit silly to preech about concrete flower pots because you either love or hate them. Some people have preconceived ideas about what concrete is and hate it, my Dad being one. I think this is because they think of grotty 70’s tower blocks and the association to them. We in the design world however relate it to an industrial, versatile and cool material that gives us the chance to make some really cool shapes that are durable and strong.