I love using these things for container plantings, especially select hardy (and expensive) shrubs, especially evergreens. Living in this place, it is even more important since I can take them with me when/if I leave, no digging anything up. Plus they give alot of growing room for larger things like shrubs, and there is no root competition from the damn silver maples. The plants do have to have very hardy roots, and need watering and fertilizing alot, but no big deal there.
They have become next to impossible to find. I finally heard of a place that has five of them, and I am going up there tomorrow(25 miles away) to get some..at fifty bucks a piece! Fifty bucks!
Damn it, I am not sure why they are not so common anymore. I have called nearly everywhere around here, and nobody carries them anymore. Fifteen years ago I remember seeing them on sale for 3 bucks a piece!
*you know, the half barrels made of wood, about two feet tall and with the metal bands around the top and bottom? I need to get more just to replace some of the ones I have. I have about eight here and there...on a few corners, mixed in borders, etc.
I hate nearly all the plastic containers you can get, and most look like shit and still are not big enough, plus they freeze and crack-same thing with clay pots. These oak barrels can last a decade or more