Pottery and Ceramics
Choosing The Perfect Pot
Is the front or back of your house or apartment like a blank canvas, waiting for the artist to start painting?
A lot of places don't have room for a lawn or flower garden, but you can over come that by planting in containers.
The size, shape and color of a container is very important and the first thing you want to do is decide what kind of atmosphere you would like to create, such as old English, modern, contemporary, Asian, Spanish, old fashion or Japanese.
A pots character is not determined just by their shape, the size, material and texture are just as important.
After deciding what type of garden you would like to have, get some books on it and you will get an idea of the shapes best suited for that particular garden.
The size of the area you have for your garden will determine the size pots you will need.
If the area is very small a couple groupings of small pots will look much better than one big one.
Blocks of wood, bricks or boxes can be used to raise some of the pots so they are at different levels.
I always put three or four rocks in the bottoms of my small pots to ensure that they won't blow over in the wind.
When buying plants for your arrangement make sure to get lower growing ones for the front and taller mixed with trailing ones for the back.
For larger spaces if you have a shrub, small tree or a large inside plant you will need deep pots so there is room for the roots.
It will be impossible to move large pots and window boxes once they are filled, so make sure they are where you want them.
Terra-cotta pots are the old stand-by and use to come in just one shape, but now days there are hundreds of shapes to choose from.
Terra-cotta will keep the plant roots cooler, but they dry out faster because of being so porous.
Pottery intended for something other than a planter can be used for a container garden and makes quite a conversation piece.
I used my terra-cotta chimenea to plant flowers and herbs in.
What makes them so desirable is the colors, designs and faux finishes that can be painted on them or even moss can be added to the outside of them.
You know how to smear paint onto something, but to encourage moss growth on the terra-cotta, soak the pot preferably over night, gather some moss from the woods and take it home.
Put it into your blender with enough buttermilk to make it the consistency of house paint use a paint brush and paint the mixture in crisscross strokes all over the pot leaving some of the terra-cotta showing through here and there and shortly you will have a pot that looks like it has been there for years.
Make sure you keep it moist by giving the outside a misting every time you water the flowers in the container.
Glazed ceramic, stoneware and earthenware are also used in container gardens, but the colors usually cannot be changed.
There are all kinds of colored glazes used, solid colors, multi-colors, crystal looking finishes, metallic looking finishes and clear which will show the natural color of the ware.
If these pots are completely covered with glaze inside and out, they will not absorb moisture and do not have to be protected from freezing.
Terra-cotta or any unglazed pot on the other hand will absorb moisture and will freeze and crack.
They have to be cleaned out every fall and stored in a dry place.
To prevent having to clean and store your unglazed pots, there is a latex or polyurethane coating that can be painted on the pot to protect it.
Always make sure there is a drain hole in the bottom of a pot to be used for planting, because plant roots will rot if they sit in water.
Sometimes three or four inches of rock, glass shards or styrofoam peanuts can be placed in the bottom of a pot that doesn't have a drain hole to keep the roots from standing in water, but care must be taken not to over water.
If your pot has a drain hole in the bottom you can place rocks or even a coffee filter which will help keep the soil in.
When placing them in a yard or on a deck pay special attention as to how much rain will run in the pot also.
When picking out plants for your containers it is very important to get plants that can tolerate the conditions in the area that they are to be placed, such as, full sun, partial sun and shade.
Sometimes the plants have tags giving information as to where to plant, how tall they get and how long they bloom and if they drape over the edges.
If not ask a nursery attendant, they can answer your questions for you.
Succulents such as hen and chicks and cactus look best in terra-cotta shallow dishes, bowls or ovals.
Plants that drape over the edge of containers and are bright and flowering look the best in a tall or hanging container.
Square or rectangle containers are well suited for low growing and bushy evergreens and bushes.
Just about every garden or deck has what is called a strawberry jar.
It is a large terra-cotta container that has cups pulled out from the sides that will hold a plant.
The best plants to use for these pot are trailing flowering plants, different kinds of herbs or strawberry plants.
Pottery containers can be placed just about anywhere around the yard and garden adding a splash of color to a drab and uninteresting setting.
A hanging planter, a flat sided container hung on a wall, strawberry pots or any shaped or size pot on the stairway or standing one on each side of a door can dress up and soften an entrance.
Always make sure to pick an appropriate size container for the area it will be place in.
One of the hardest and most stark places to decorate is the swimming pool. Because there is mostly cement around a pool, container gardening is a solution to the problem.
Keep in mind when placing your pottery so as not to block access for cleaning and maintenance of the pool.
Pottery can break up boring lines of paving and water providing color and interest, whether they are empty or planted.
Blooming annuals, ferns and shrubs are the best suited for around a pool.
With a few of the hints given here, go to work and like an artist with a brush start applying colors and shapes where it looks and feels right.
A window sill, pool, front walk, mailbox, deck, yard or front door, use your imagination and you will always be on the look out for a new and different and unusual piece of pottery.
Just like in a painting, a color or object can change the looks entirely.
Have fun, fear nothing!!!!!!!!
|If you want to leave your footprints in the sands of time, wear work boots.