Arizona Pottery imports clay garden pottery from around the world. In this post we will refer to Chinese Clay Pots. As we stated before Italian terracotta is the best in the industry. Lightweight, wonderful color and great firing process.
Chinese terracotta flowerpots are made of a very heavy, thick clay. After the planters are formed by hand and fired in a mud hut they will have a very rough texture to them. If you rub your hand down the side, it will feel uneven and scratchy. Because of the clay mix you will also see a whitewashed finish. It looks like a powder coating but what it is showing is the calcium that is in the clay. It turns whitish when fired.
If you seal these pots, which we recommend, it will darken the clay up and not be as noticeable. Because these Chinese clay pots are very porous they will absorb a lot of moisture and will contribute to a faster deterioration of the clay. Of course this is where sealing again will help to prolong the life of the clay.
On a scale from Best to Worse - Chinese terracotta pottery is considered middle of the road. Even though it's rough it comes in some super decorative designs. You will see hex pots, lots of garlands and details. They aren't as defined as the Italian pots but are still unique. We love basket weaves, cherubs, and medallion embellishments.
Seal these planters, store them for winter if possible and you will be very pleased with their performance in your garden for years!
Design in advance: Once you hit the nursery to select your plant materials, try to create the look you hope to achieve BEFORE you purchase them. Group the plants together on the pavement or get a cart. Combine colors, styles, and sizes to create a beautiful and cohesive look. Make the arrangement in small groups and then set them aside and move on to the next pots arrangement. Don't get overwhelmed or try to do the whole yard or patio in one trip. You can always go back for more plants.
More is better: Don't just put one plant in your patio planters. A single plant looks sparse and lonely. You have a choice of planting several different types of flowers or even multiple quantities of one type but a single plant is not very attractive. We personally like the look of multiple types, heights, colors etc. It just gives the container more character.
Group containers: Try placing multiple containers together in groups or even at different heights. Elevating pots with pot stands really changes up the look. Use racks, hanging pots, lots of colors and different types of planters. Terracotta, glazed, colored, shiny, matte and lightweight or concrete.
Pot Placement: Make sure you don't place the pottery where people will trip over them. They should be secured if placed on a ledge where they could be pushed off and get damaged or hurt someone. Always try to go to the edge of patios, safely away from doorways and sidewalks. Line the planters up against a wall or fence where they won't be in the way.
Finally, when heading to the local nursery take your time, plan in advance and go for colors & varieties. That way you will create successful potted planters that you can be proud of all season long.
Here is another fun craft idea using clay flower pots and turning them into something decorative & playful. Since it's St. Patrick's Day today we thought we would show you how to make a Leprechaun Hat. We saw this easy idea at thatswhatchesaid.net
Purchase small clay flowerpots. Of course you can get them from us or any craft store. Paint them with an acrylic green paint. It may take 3 coats to get them covered because you want a bold bright green.
Wrap a black ribbon towards the bottom of the clay flowerpot. Since the pot is not a true cylinder, you will have to adjust in the back to the ribbon to sit properly in the front. Use a hot glue gun to secure the ribbon in place.
Next use an Xacto knife to cut out the buckle. Use gold card stock and hot clue in place. Now we know it's hard to believe but that is it. Think of all the fun things you can do with these hats. Place one at each place at the dinner table. Stack the pots on a living room fireplace mantle and decorate with clover. Place them around the house and put a gold candy coin under each one and use them like a treasure hunt.
While growing flowers & veggies in planters can be easy, growing fruit trees & berries take a little more thought. You will need to become familiar with such things as root stocks, pollination, and climate control. We discuss all of those items in this blog post.
Growing your own fruit in a garden planter is really fun and rewarding. Nothing tastes better than homegrown fruit picked at peak ripeness. Imagine the pleasure of adding a handful of berries to your morning cereal or making an apple pie with fruit from your potted tree.
Many types of fruits and berries adapt nicely to growing in containers. Plant breeders continue to develop compact varieties especially suited to garden pottery, and they have many advantages as well. Probably the most important point is the mobility that container planted trees provide. If frost threatens, you can move your fruit trees under cover for some protection.
Before you get started on this fun adventure - you need to learn a few fruit gardening terms and concepts that will keep coming up. Remember how pollen moves from the male part of the flower to the female part, fertilizing it and causing fruit to grow? Well some fruit trees like Peach have compatible male and female flower parts. This means if you plant a peach by itself it will produce fruit.
Other fruits including apple & blueberries produce more quantity if they are cross pollinated. This means they receive pollen from another variety. You can still grow one blueberry or apple plant and get some fruit but you will get a lot more if a different variety grows nearby.
The root stock is the below grow portion of the plant. The scion is above ground. If grown on their own roots get huge. Much to big for a container. But, if grown on dwarfing root stocks they are ideal for planters.
When it comes to selecting planters make sure they are large enough with a drain hole in the bottom. In fact the more holes the better. You don't want to be re-potting your trees every year. Terracotta is always best because it breathes and is the best for air circulation around the roots. However, terracotta is meant to break down over time so it never hurts to go with a glazed or high fired planter.
Gardening isn't just for adults. There are a few things kids love more than digging their hands into the earth, watching flowers bloom and spending some up close and personal time with creepy crawlies.
Take a look at your garden inventory. Are all your garden tools adult size and to dangerous for small inexperienced hands? Then create a kid zone of garden items, that your little ones can play with. Other kids something different than the latest doll or video game.
Kids tools sets, contain shovels, hoes, rakes, aprons, tote bags and gloves specially designed to fit and appeal to small children. They also make great gifts. They are safe and easy for them to use. Children with vivid imaginations and zest for life, will love items such as butterfly garden sets or building a birdhouse.
Get your kids outside away from the television. Let them use the hose or watering can to water plants, let them plant their own garden in a flowerpot but first taking them to the nursery and letting them pick out their own seeds or plants. Check out the soil and get a small bag of potting mix. Lastly let them choose a wonderful flowerpot that they can call their own.
If you want to get crafty you can let them paint a clay pot with acrylic paint and they can put their name on it or their favorite bug. Once they plant in it let them put it in their bedroom and teach them to become responsible for watering.
Basically kids just want to be with you doing something fun and exciting and playing with garden tools. Do your part.