Designers of timeless gardens and landscapes use statement pieces of statuary, pots or fountains to create focal points and structure. Today those structural elements are being produced in lightweight materials which makes garden construction easier but requires the designer to have a new technical knowledge of materials. The use of lightweight materials in the manufacture of pots, planters and fountains can reduce the need for heavy lifting equipment as well as producing products that age more attractively than lime-leached concrete.
There is a growing opportunity to specify large statement pieces made from lightweight materials with the increase of apartment living and large, communal rooftop gardens. It’s no wonder lightweight materials are the first choice for professional landscapers. Project time and labour investment is reduced when very large objects can be moved with two to four people instead of hiring expensive equipment. A recent Melbourne project by The Botanical Group demonstrates how very large pots were able to be maneuvered via forklift (particularly handy as there was no crane access). In situations where moving equipment is still required – such as craning pots into an awkward or narrow space – the scale of machinery is substantially reduced.
Our ranges of lightweight pots, planters and fountains have been selected to provide product across a range of prices and project situations. Importantly, some of these have been designed to tolerate vigorous-rooted plants such as bamboo and strelitzia (although these plants will eventually test the strongest of materials).
There are many alternative lightweight materials to choose from, and each is suitable for different settings. Understanding which materials are appropriate to the planned environment and desired length of life is crucial for selecting statement pieces that will keep their looks and go the distance.
The premium lightweight material available today is glassfibre reinforced cement (GRC). This composite material is twice as strong as fibreglass and much lighter than concrete. Resistant to UV and water penetration, GRC is used to manufacture very large and strong containers for heavy landscaping. The combination of high quality material and a robust quality controlled manufacturing process results in a premium product that can be relied upon to last for many years. Unlike ceramic pots, GRC can be made to any size. Being lighter than ceramic, metal or concrete, it lends itself perfectly to classical and contemporary pot designs.
But not all designs will require the extra-strength of GRC. Alternative materials, such as poly-resin, are perfect for indoor applications or protected settings such as covered balconies or carparks. Our Khilia range of pots are made from non-toxic, recyclable polyethylene resin. This provides water and UV resistance, while also being shock-proof. Some pieces can be fitted with roller wheels for easy movement and are particularly suited to restaurants and commercial applications.
Fountains and water features are often assumed to be the heaviest of garden features, traditionally made from solid concrete. However, our elegantly designed Pietro fountains are handmade using layers of fibreglass and cement. This means they can be moved into place manually instead of by forklift or crane. Now garden designers and landscapers can plan to add fountains to existing gardens while avoiding damage to the landscape.
Here is our guide to choosing the right type of lightweight product from our specially curated range. When your landscape design requires:
- Crisp, architectural styling – select from the contemporary Geo Rok, Khilia or Pietro ranges
- The concrete look – choose from our Topline, Lithos, Geo Rok ranges, or a stunning Pietro fountain
- Oversized pots that will stand the test of time – you have a wide range of options in our Geo Rok, Pietro and Lithos ranges
- A relatively lightweight water feature that mimics concrete – thrill your clients with the unique handmade pieces from our Pietro range
- A design that meets load-bearing limits – take a look at the Smartline and Topline ranges to add sophistication to a balcony or rooftop garden
- Pots and planters for indoor applications – many designer options are available in our Smartline, Metro Light, Granito and Khilia ranges, for pots that can be easily moved within flexible office spaces. Speak to us about the best ways to ensure leak-proof indoor planters; our pots can be plugged and sealed, or fitted with water dams and cover pots.
We can also provide a range of commercial project solutions, including:
- Sizing and costing of planters for specific projects
- Product engineering and custom design
- Access to a catalogue of standard-sized planters
- Delivery to site.
The Martin Kellock Pots and Planters team brings decades of expertise and knowledge to help garden designers, plantscapers and landscapers select the right material and product type for each situation.