Animal planters are trending - experts reveal how to style this playful new trend

Animal planters are the surprisingly stylish trend taking over our gardens this summer

wicker dog with fern
(Image credit: Dunelm)

Adding an animal to your garden needn’t be naff. Forget those concrete-cast cats or sad-looking puppies pawing at a ball, there’s a trend this spring for stylish animal planters inspired by the call of the wild. 

From cheeky monkey pots to brighten up any corner to grand lion’s heads bringing a touch of Bridgerton elegance to any backyard, animals are everywhere.

Lisa Jones, editorial design manager at Dunelm, thinks that this garden trend has been inspired by the time we’ve spent at home.

Black lion planter

(Image credit: Dunelm)

'Animals have played an important role in our home life during the pandemic years and we’ve grown closer to our pets,' she says. 'Combine this with a growing focus on our outdoor space and animal planters represent homely touches that add some fun and style to your garden.'

If you’re looking for smart container gardening ideas, Dunelm's range includes an elegant black resin lion head planter, £20 at Dunelm, which wouldn’t look out of place on the terrace at Lady Danbury’s house. Limited Abode has a large elephant head planter in gold, perfect for making an exotic statement, £66.60.

Brass elephant planter

(Image credit: Limited Abode)

This highly visual trend helps to blur the barrier between indoors and outdoors. 'Elephants are amongst are best-sellers and they work well with the current trend for exotic houseplants,' says Ashley Todd, founder of Ella James, interiors and outdoor living company. 'Or you could add a neat touch of the exotic to your leafy displays with a gold leopard or a gold parrot pot hanger.'

Animal pot hangers are a cute touch if you’re looking for unusual garden planter ideas. Ashley says they’re one of Ella James’ most popular gifts, adding a customized touch to a pot plant gift.

Zebra planter with herbs

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Interior designer Henry Prideaux sees the trend as encapsulating tradition. 'We would usually decorate the outdoor living spaces of our projects with objects that have a history to them such as oversized antique urns, stone birdbaths, or upcycled galvanized water troughs, for example, but placing a pair of vintage swan planters would add charm in a kind of English country garden way.'

Grey swan planter with grasses

(Image credit: Dunelm)

Henry adds that you can find some amazing original pieces for styling gardens at antique fairs or flea markets. He also suggests visiting gardening centers and lifestyle destinations, such as Petersham Nurseries based just outside London.

Will you be embracing this kitsch animal planter trend and adding a bold addition to your patio ideas this spring and summer?

Jayne Dowle is an award-winning freelance gardening, homes and property writer who writes about everything from swimming ponds to skyscraper apartments, for publications including Sunday Times Home, Times Bricks & Mortar, Grand Designs, House Beautiful and The Spectator. Awarded the Garden Journalist of the Year accolade at the Property Press Awards in 2021, she has a degree in English Language and Literature from the University of Oxford and a lifelong love of homes, interiors and gardens. Her first memories include planting potatoes with her grandfather and drawing houses. Her own garden - her fourth - at home in a 1920s house in Yorkshire, is south-facing and on the side of a valley. It’s a constant challenge