Low pillars often punctuate a driveway entrance or the ends of a wall. Turning the top into a planter is another chance to brighten a site with flowers and foliage. This stone-and-concrete column has a cast-concrete cap with an integral planting bowl about the size of a 14-inch clay pot. And like a clay pot, it needs regular watering to ensure that the plants do not dry out.
Each year we plant the pillar with annuals for lots of color. Cool-weather-hardy pansies are put in first in early spring, as soon as they're available. When the weather warms up, they get replaced with whatever looks great on the day we go to the nursery. Last year that meant lime-green sweet potato vine that grows like crazy and drapes down the sides of the planter, with large yellow and orange French marigolds planted in the center to add height. For a lower-maintenance planting in full sun, consider drought-tolerant sedums, succulents, or ornamental grasses.