Many different gardening pots and planters are available in shops, both off line and on line. I suggest that you base your choices on which is best for the particular plant that you plan to grow and how much space and money you have at your disposal. You can find containers for free, or you can spend large wads of cash on custom designed boxes.
They're cheap and cheerful, and they're practical, but they're not so pretty looking. The black containers seem to last longer than any other colour, but they also absorb heat, which is something to think about when growing sensitive plants during hot summers. Plant roots can become too hot or dried out, especially in small pots.
Terra cotta pots are unglazed, usually with one drainage hole in the bottom. They are porous and therefore absorb water and minerals away from the soil. They look great as they age and get that weathered surface.
If you live in a hot climate you need to be careful as these pots dry quickly, and the smaller they are, the faster they dry. They actually suck water from the potting mix.
These two kinds are similar in that they are non-porous and therefore don't absorb water. They are better at insulating roots from temperature fluctuations.
How do you tell terra cotta from stoneware? Glad you asked. Lick your finger and touch the surface of the pot. If the moisture from your finger dries in a short period of time it's terra cotta. If it doesn't dry, chances are it's stoneware.
These are invaluable for plants which need constant levels of hydration, such as tomato and cucumber. They will also eliminate the need to water each and every day. These types of pots are ideal for busy people who can't check on plants each day.
Herbs will also enjoy growing in these clever gardening pots, and you can fit quite a selection in one planter. The problem for some designs is that one side of the pot is always going to be in shade.
Also called 'Topsy Turvy Tomato Planter', this gadget is a bit of a novelty. It basically is a bag which gets filled with potting mix. The plant grows from an opening in the base, upside down. The whole ensemble is then suspended from above, like a hanging basket. Cherry tomatoes and other smaller varieties are suitable candidates. It's another way of growing patio tomatoes.
A wine barrel cut in half will give you two great looking planters. Here you can plant larger varieties or those plants with an extensive root system. Don't forget to drill holes in the base of the barrel planter for drainage.
If you're handy with hammer and nails (or know someone who is) you can create boxes of any shape or size. I have even seen flat pack kits with these types of large outdoor planters available for purchase recently.
Wood rots away eventually, and if you don't want to repeat your efforts every few years you can buy treated wood. CCA - copper chrome arsenate - is the chemical used in the old way of protecting timber from fungus, termites and other nasties. Apparently it's never been proved that this compound is harmful to use on wood destined for our vegetable patch, but...
Cedar is a timber which is resistant to both rot and termites, and it'll last for many years.
A trellis planter is simply a gardening container with a trellis attached. The trellis part needs to be firmly anchored to prevent the whole thing from falling over, especially when used as a tomato trellis or a cucumber trellis. They are perfect for a patio or balcony.