Containers built to last
For many of us, our container designs look pretty shabby after just a few months. That's not the case, however, for Seattle-based garden designer Stacie Crooks. In her article "Container Designs Built to Last," published in the January/February 2013 issue of Fine Gardening, she shares her secrets for keeping the same containers flourishing for years.

Click through this photo gallery to see the potted plantings that adorn her backyard patio. Not only are these containers low maintenance, but they're also remarkably long lasting. Each spring, Stacie simply tweaks these eye-catching designs, adding a few plants for a fresh look or removing a perennial or two to prevent root competition. She never has to start completely from scratch, however - which, of course, saves her time, money, and energy during a gardener's busiest time of year.

Photos: Ann Stratton