Shrubs want just be pruned to suit your own taste for size and shape. The only other reasons to prune shrubs include: to remove dead stems or branches, to thin out dense or matted branches, or to remove all -green shoots from variegated shrubs.
Of the two, your odds are better for finding free planters on freecycle. You may think it's unlikely someone would only give cosmetic planters away for free, but many individuals who are going or cleaning out basements and garages are enthusiastic to get rid of their small and large planters just to get the additional space. Keep in mind the ornamental planters you get from freecycle may not be just your flavors, but this is part of the fun of utilizing the site. Any planters ( http://www.malewaitress.com/garden-pots-can-look-great-indoors/ ) you get that you don't be re- can like or won't use listed and be given to another gardener and it may be just the sort of plant container they are looking for. I am one of those of US who has given outdoor planters and a lot of other items on freecycle away so I can guarantee you it works!
Wet gardening ( http://www.reading.ac.uk/life/life-accommodation.aspx ) planters regularly bring ants. If the ants are being attracted by wetness from plants, there is a remedy that is simple. Raise the plants upward so that the bottom of the pot isn't touching the earth. This keeps moisture from collection.
Sowing annuals in edges is a simple and cheap method of filling space during the summer months. These plants can either be sown as seeds before in the season or bought and put as young plants. Either way they will keep on flowering right until the end of the season. The exact same thing could be achieved to fill trough planters which can subsequently be used to brighten up veranda spaces or bare corners of the garden. There are lots of summer annuals in the marketplace, so here are a couple of of my favourites; some uncommon plants as well as those that can supply the greatest value for money.
I don't have enough time to explain 75% of this stuff doesn't work; as for the other 25%, the resultant advantages ( http://www.visitlondon.com/where-to-stay/guest-house/bed-and-breakfast ) are not worth the trouble. That will be covered in my post entitled "Which Pond Predator Deterrents Work?