Every year I have a number of casualties among my terracotta pots, which end up broken or cracked in the depths of winter.
Replacing them can be an almost impossible decision, thanks to the plethora of garden pots available both from retailers and online, from huge Grecian-style glazed urns, to light resin contemporary planters.
If you're going to invest in new pots, make sure they match the outside of your property and the style of your garden. If you live in a centuries-old cottage featuring original brickwork, for example, you may want to steer clear of contemporary urban planters.
While some manufacturers claim their terracotta pots are frostproof or frost resistant, I would advise you take care of them anyway to minimise risk of flaking and cracking.
Glazed terracotta pots are generally more frostproof than unglazed ones, but if compost in the pot becomes waterlogged and then the water freezes, it will expand and crack the pot as well as killing the roots of your plants.
Move terracotta pots near to the house during the winter months or wrap them in bubble wrap or horticultural fleece to protect them - and make sure you have adequate drainage holes and drainage material in the pot, standing the pot on feet.
If you do need to refresh your garden pots, there are possibilities for all tastes:
1. Designer planter
Laura Ashley has branched out on to the garden scene with a new range of frostproof glazed terracotta pots in pastel blue, available in selected Wyevale Garden Centres and fully available across 108 stores from March 20, from £6.99-£34.99.
2. Lighting up time
Soft lighting can create a great ambience in the garden - and you can highlight your plants with Dutch design company Elho's flower light which features a contemporary planter with the stylish solar light connected by a wooden frame.
Available in white, anthracite and mint, Flower Light charges by natural sunlight. RRP £34.99.
3. Water-wise style
Lechuza has come out with another stylish contemporary planter, the Cubeto bowl planter, ideal for lower-growing plants, either for permanent or temporary planting.
It's a smooth, bowl-shaped lower-to-the-ground pot made from lightweight plastic, but which looks a lot like stone and comes with a sub-irrigation system featuring a colour-coordinated liner, drain plug, water level indicator which reduces risk of over-watering and water supply shaft and which makes watering easy.
Available in stone grey, sand beige or classic black. From £17.99,
4. Yakuta water jars
If you want something bespoke that no-one else will have, look no further than these unique Chinese vases, finished with a stunning hand-painted glaze.
They come in a range of sizes, from small pots to huge urns in greens, blues, yellows and browns.
Prices range from around £9 upwards, depending on size, from Roundwood of Mayfield.
5. Tudor twist
This uniquely shaped wooden planter from specialists Lichfield Planters has an unusual twist reminiscent of a Tudor chimney pot.
Constructed with square lengths of Scandinavian red pine treated with a high quality, plant-friendly, water-repellant preservative.
The floor of the planter is 30cm from the top, so you don't need to fill it up completely with compost.
Weighing more than 25kg (size 35cm x 35cm x 80cm), it's stable even in strong winds. £125
6. Colour statement
Eye-catching planters can look amazing against a plain white house wall or minimalist backdrop.
These new Satu Bumi egg planters in white base, black dip and gold band provide a splash of rich, vibrant colour in a minimalist setting.
They are made from glass fibre reinforced concrete which is frostproof.
Available in three sizes, from £90. For stockists details contact, visit www.laminvale.co.uk.
7. Back to nature
New for this year is a natural-looking range of lightweight, frost resistant contemporary planters within the The Nature collection from Cadix.
The lightweight pots are equipped with a special rib structure that uses hydrograins to keep plants healthy and provide smooth water drainage.