When planning and arranging a garden, you may be tempted to consider your plants and flowers separately from the manmade structures surrounding them, but this doesn’t have to be the case.
An expertly hand-carved natural stone planter or stone vase can not only accentuate the plant life you’d like to have on display, but also blend together the natural and the artificial so that only a keen eye for artistry remains.
How to choose the right stone planter for your backyard
There is a wide variety to choose from, and while in some cases the choice can be precise, in many there is a certain flexibility that means your marble planter will give your garden a certain visual flair regardless of which one you choose.
At the same time, the size of the stone planter bowl, the height of the piece or of the pedestal it rests on, and the carvings made into it can all inform the nature of what look your choice will provide.
Do you want an understated look stone planter or an exuberant stone planter? Do you want the marble garden plants to stand out or to merge with the stonework? Or do you just want to choose the marble planter that you think looks best and let nature take care of the rest?
Take a look at this selection of natural marble planters and decide which effect you’d like your hand-carved stone vases and pots to have on your landscaping project!
Natural stone vases don’t come much simpler than this stone vase in the photo; however, even this basic, stripped-down design is beautiful and versatile in its placement and purpose.
Like most Marblebee stone structures, it is hand-carved to order, which adds the benefit of customizable size. Indeed, it’s easy to imagine this particular piece as both a small flower pot sitting in the corner of a room, as well as a massive installation towering overhead outdoors, with a small garden pouring out from on top of it.
The style is stone vase of the most ubiquitous and universal designs in contemporary home and garden planning, which means it can fit in with just about any project.
Antique style stone planter
On the other side of the spectrum is this dazzlingly extensive stone planter in an antique style. While its complex stonework couldn’t just fit in anywhere, a thoughtful place for this planter could elevate the location into a whole new caliber of class and sophistication.
The lively stone reliefs at the top and the handsomely symmetrical bull carving at the bottom contain a level of craftsmanship that you don’t see every day, except in perhaps the most elite of properties.
The owner of such a vase must ask themselves not only where it will be placed, and what may surround it in terms of style, texture, and color—the planter’s gentle red clay hue must be carefully considered as part of a palette—but also what will be contained inside of it.
Perhaps a pair of them could be kept empty on either side of a walkway, like two impressive garden sentinels; maybe an expertly cultivated bonsai tree or other visually arresting or important plant can be set within the pot.
Like location, the contents of this stone planter must be considered more carefully, and with potentially greater results, than the more general planter shown before it.
Backyard Marble planter
Now, after a simple design encapsulating the bare essentials, and a more opulent design meant primarily for display, what about a natural stone vase so ornate that you would probably always want to keep it empty?
This gorgeous marble planter has such a delicacy to its stonemasonry and craftsmanship that it may be best not to plant anything in it at all, and use it strictly for its decorative beauty.
The main feature, you may notice first, are the ram’s heads perched across from each other on the pot’s rim. These may get in the way of any cultivation if the vase were to be filled with soil and planted; additionally, you wouldn’t want to get these perfectly carved structures too dirty.
One cannot help but imagine a piece such as this mounted on a shelf or wall recess like an exhibition, more at home in an art gallery alongside classical paintings and similarly evocative stone statues than even the most luxurious garden.
If you do choose to plant something in this marble vase, you had best choose very wisely, as the plant in this pot should be one worthy of the artistry involved!
Marble vase or Stone planter
The dilemma of whether the focus of an exquisitely crafted marble vase should be on the stone planter itself or on the flora contained within it is both solved and made somewhat more complex with an additional detail: height.
If your natural stone planter is elevated on a plinth or set upon a pedestal, or perched at the top of another immaculate stone sculpture, then surely the viewer will be drawn to the carvings at eye level, and less so to the carefully wrought arrangement planted within the actual bowl of the piece.
It is ironic that a natural stone planter designed to draw attention away from the plant may actually require more consideration for said plant, in order to truly complete the visual effect of the presentation.
Cherubic statues stone planter
Here we have a pair of wonderful cherubic statues holding up their wide, low-brimmed vases above their heads. It is one of the most cherished visual motifs in Western art, combining the cuteness of a rotund child with the movement and energy of a powerful motion: lifting a potted plant, perhaps symbolic of all nature or the world, onto their otherwise soft shoulders.
But what does this mean for the contents of said pot? As stated before, viewers may be more focused on the sculptures of the twins themselves, than what they are holding aloft, so what does this mean for the vase? If the vase is empty, they will be holding nothing, and the piece will lack a certain logical flow of functionality.
The solution in these cases is to plant a variety of flora that may hang over the edge of the bowl’s brim. These kinds of hanging garden plants are fairly common, and can often be seen dangling from chains in arrangements all over the world; recontextualizing the style in this capacity can result in a truly inspired garden display.
If vines or leaves are reaching down from above, they can add a splash of natural color to the white marble figures, provide some motion as they flow back and forth, contrast texturally with the natural stone of the statues, and bring attention finally to the plants being potted at the top, all without overpowering the main attraction of the statues themselves.
How to decorate your backyard with stone vase
When a stone vase is set on a pedestal, without significant change to its overall design, you can enjoy the best of both worlds: it can boast both attractive stonework and flora that won’t go unnoticed.
See for example these two marble planters. Their design is elegant, but hardly overwhelming, and it can be balanced well by a variety of potted plants.
There is much more flexibility allowed here than with some of the previous choices: everything from a colorful bush of blooming flowers, to a bright and healthy green fern, would look perfectly at home in these marble planters, without sacrificing any of the design quality for the natural stone itself.
If the planters above are a bit too plain for your tastes, but you still want the effect of a nice natural stone vase that will present the flora attractively without distracting away from it, you could do much worse than this carved marble planter with a more involved design pattern and more detailed etchings on the sides of both the vase and pedestal.
Unlike the elaborate depictions of humans and animals on some of the planters shown above, this design has a very finely wrought but nicely modest and unimposing carving of leaves and flowers: pleasing for anyone to look at, but also of its place and not overbearing.
In addition, the floral theme of the carvings will further match the plants you may choose to grow in this vase. All in all, the humble nature of this stone planter is its greatest asset, and for landscapers or interior designers with big plans for additional elements of your project, this would be a great choice to fill out an empty corner or bare surface of your location without interrupting or cluttering up your other plans.
Birdbath and Stone Plant Pot
This stone plant pot may be good for some bushy, short-growing varieties of plants, but its squat, wide shape would also make it conducive to holding water. Depending on your specific needs, this pot would make a fine birdbath, blending in seamlessly with other decorative flowerpots and vases around your garden while serving an entirely different (but no less vital!) purpose.
Imagine this pot as part of a fountain system, fixed with a small spigot or water geyser and set amongst other water dishes, perhaps next to, or even in or on, a backyard fish pond. Its understated design allows it to fit in seamlessly with a large variety of other styles, and the planks of treated wood look great speckled with water from your fountain or pond.
The combination of wood and natural marble stone invokes a strong natural vibe in this pot: wood and stone together are the essential solid textures of any outdoor landscaping project.
Of course, aside from the literal height of the flowerpot above the ground, a very important factor of choosing your natural stone planter is the actual size.
All of these varieties can be custom-made to order, so whether they’re small or large or some medium size in between is wholly up to the purchaser according to their specific needs.
However, no matter how small or big your custom order may be, the size of the pot can be an unchangeable matter of proportion. Take for example this fairly understated stone urn planter: gracefully curved with a tasteful leaf pattern carved onto its vase.
It is the shape, not the actual dimensions, which make this urn appear “large.” The stem on which the vase is set is stubby and leads directly to the plinth that rests on the ground. While it may be more difficult to draw attention to the contents of a planter which is so predominately composed of its own vase, the lowkey effects of the artistry can also help counterbalance the largeness of the stone piece.
This makes it perfect for containing plant life that inherently takes up a large amount of space without making the display feel cramped or visually uneven.
Greco-Roman stone planter
But just as you may want a careful balance between your marble container and its contents, so also you may want to bring attention to one or the other.
For those who may wish to go all-out and indulge in a giant, beautiful natural stone planter with an impeccable design and dazzling carved artwork, while perhaps not caring quite so much about the plants that may be living in it (if there are any plants at all!) check out this festive marble garden vase with its scenes of harvest and bounty encircling it like a garden all of its own!
Its human depictions differ from the classical Greco-Roman influences of many marble sculptures: these farmers resemble a more medieval time in Europe, perhaps further up north in England or France, and in a relatively more “recent” time in the Middle Ages.
In addition, the depiction of bountiful foodstuffs at the bottom looks like a colonial cornucopia you might see in old-fashioned American renditions of European settlement and Thanksgiving stories!
But it is not simply the big carvings of people and objects that makes this piece stand out: scouring over every inch of this marble planter reveals that not one spot is without a well-thought-out pattern or design.
Columns, ridges, and curves all combine to create consistent leaf motifs that make the vase come alive with creativity and expression, adding to the effect of the story depicted by the sculpted relief: the fruits of the earth and a world of natural nourishment and goodness for all to reap and sow.
Lion head stone garden pot
As with most things, there also exists a happy medium. This stone garden pot depicts a noble and elaborately three-dimensional carving of a lion, surrounded by a relief carving of grass-like fauna, giving the impression of both a king surrounded by his battlements, and a predator lurking in the field.
However, as impressive as this artwork is, that is, more or less, the extent of the stonework. It is very good work, without overstaying its welcome and becoming overpowering.
In addition, note how broad the bowl’s pedestal is; at points, it is almost as broad as the bowl itself. This allows for a large vase, decorated with beautiful carvings, that does not draw all of the attention to only one portion of the entire structure. The pedestal is also plain, elegantly shaped, but not decorated with additional carvings.
Large Marble Planter with Delicate Relief
With a massive vase, stunningly well-realized carvings in deep three-dimensional relief, and almost no base at all, this astounding marble planter is perhaps the most complex and thoroughly realized stone sculpture we have seen so far among these bowls and pots.
The planter is a garden of its own, regardless of which plants may be kept in it. Its flowers, leaves, and stems twist and whirl from the hard confines of the marble, flanked by swooping and flittering birds who may very well perch right in your hand from the looks of them.
While the design is not symmetrical, and is in fact quite untamed and feral, there is also a kind of inherent order than makes it appear, at first glance, to be a mirrored image, or even a repeating pattern. Such is the appearance of nature, which can seem tangled and ferocious from some angles, and an orderly, organic machine from others.
This stone pot’s depiction of flora and fauna is superb to the extent that, unlike other large-scale sculpted planters, this one actually merges with whatever is planted in it.
So detailed and convincing are these carvings that the planter may look reclaimed by nature even if its plant contents are minimal… or even if the whole thing is empty.
Combine Stone statues and Stone Planters, Marble vases and Stone pots
There’s a whole world of stone planters, vases, and pots out there to choose from, and every one of them will have a different visual, spatial, and textural effect on your garden or landscaping project.
The artistic endeavors of stone sculptors and marble workers is such that they can stand alongside the very bounties of the earth and match them in terms of beauty.
You will be hard-pressed to find anyone who thinks that hand-carved stone and marble planters and vases interrupt the natural beauty of a garden: the natural sculpting materials combined with the beauty of the craftsmanship earns these pieces of art their place alongside the fruits of nature.
So, while it’s hard to make a wrong choice with these stone planters thanks to their exquisite designs, also keep in mind that each choice will have a different effect on the way your garden is presented! Get creative and go “wild!”