Winter is Coming! And while we don’t face the scary specter of “White-Walkers” like they do in Game of Thrones, if you live in the northern half of the country, winter can damage your beloved garden accents. Any piece which can hold water, snow, or ice, OR any piece that is placed directly on the ground, can be damaged by winter weather and freeze/thaw cycles. These pieces include planters, birdbaths, fountains, statues, and bench legs. Ideally, any cast stone piece should be brought indoors during the winter. However, if this is not an option, there are several steps you can take to help your pieces weather the weather!
Cast Stone Planters
If you plan to leave your cast stone planters outside throughout the winter, it should be raised off the ground. Placing 2 pieces of pressure treated wood underneath the planter is an easy way to accomplish this, just be sure that the drainage hole is not blocked! Another way to raise your planters off the ground is to purchase pot feet, small pieces which sit on the ground and lift the planter just an inch or two. Either of these solutions allow the soil to properly drain and ensure your planter won’t freeze to the ground! It is also recommended that drainage materials such as small stones or terra cotta chips be placed at the bottom of a planter before it is filled with soil.
If you plan to store your empty cast stone planter outdoors during the winter, it is recommended that it be turned upside down and placed onto wooden strips. It should then be covered with burlap or another absorbent material (such as an old blanket or towel), and wrapped in dark plastic. This helps prevent moisture from accumulating inside the planter.
It is critical to ensure that water does not accumulate inside any fountain bowl! Once water freezes and expands, it may cause cracks! If a fountain must be left outdoors, be sure to remove all pumps, rubber stoppers, drain pipes, finials, and other small components and store them indoors. Cover the bowl(s) in accordance with the planter winterization steps listed above. A fountain cover from Campania International is another great way to help protect your fountain bowls. Remember to check on your fountain regularly to make sure water is not accumulating inside.
Birdbaths, Benches, & Statuary
Any birdbath base, fountain base, or piece of statuary that rests on the ground is in danger of freezing to the ground surface over the harsh winter months. For this reason, be sure to raise these pieces off the ground using pieces of wood as described above.
Polyethylene planters are naturally resistant to extreme temperature fluctuations. While they can be left outdoors throughout the winter months, it is recommended that they also be raised off the ground just like a cast stone planter.
Glazed & Terra Cotta Planters
High quality terra cotta planters can be frost resistant, however, if any water or moisture gets into a pot, it can freeze and expand, cracking the piece it sits within. It is recommended that all glazed and terra cotta pieces be stored in a frost-free, covered area throughout the winter.
Check our planters, birdbaths, fountains, statues, and bench legs collection, to beautifully your winter garden