Cast Stone Planters
The Genuine Article
The preferred material for the landscapes of popes and emperors dating back to the 12th century, cast stone earns its garden cred over time: the mossier, the better. If you want to break in your own, try the 115-pound Bowl on Pedestal from Charleston Gardens (shown, far left; $275, charlestongardens.com
). This 21-inch-tall planter drains, so you can leave it out all winter.
The Flattering Imitation
If portability is important, choose the 15-pound, frostproof Fiberglass Urn from Lexington Gardens (shown, left; $325, 212-861-4390). It's 14 inches tall and compensates for its considerable cost with an uncanny likeness to the real thing.
The fiberglass replica fooled everyone. "The color and texture mimicked naturally aged stone," says Lenny Wilson of the Delaware Center for Horticulture.