The Pottery Post Blog
 
Arizona Pottery On-line Inc. USA

A Garden In Every Room




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Which room will you choose in which to realize your garden fantasy?

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This time of year thinking of growing fresh flowers usually has to wait till after the harsh weather has passed.  Outside is just to cold, frozen and unforgiving when it comes to potted plants and flowers.  How about taking a room indoors and making it into a dreamy garden?  The most natural choice would be a sun room or enclosed porch but any room that receives a healthy dose of light can work just as well.

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Try to think out of the box!  How about a breakfast nook, a kitchen with a south facing window, a living room with large french doors or a small area off a bedroom where the sun hits just right.  All of these will work great and even create a unique indoor garden area.  Take a table and fill it with potted plants & flowers.  Purchase a wire rack that you can place in front of a large window and stack the potted plants on it.  Use the side of your desk, a table next to the bed or a plant stand in the bathroom.

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You can place accessories in this area to really add to the charm.  How about a tabletop fountain for the sound of soothing water flow.  Place a small buddha statue under a large green potted palm for a serene look.  Use birdhouse's indoors and place among the potted plants and flowers.  Pull up a big over stuffed chair with floral cushions to nap in.  Take a rocker and drape a cozy blanket over it for snuggling in.  Place photos of loved ones around you, paint a wall with a floral print or hang a candle chandelier that will add mood lighting

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It doesn't have to cost a lot of money and you don't need to fill it to the brim with pots.  Just don't dream of Spring, create your own indoor garden and enjoy the things you love all year round!
 
Read more.....Houseplants tips & tricks.
Read more.....Keep cut flowers fresh.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Bella Vanilla



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Abutilon x hybridum
'Bella Vanilla'
Flowering Maple

This is a striking flowering plant that can be raised quite easily from seed.  It will flower during its first season, producing large, open, bell shaped blooms approximately 3" in diameter, with a large golden central stamen.  Each flower lasts only about 2 days but each is produced in succession

This potted plant will tolerate bright sun or partial shade and is happy in a range of temperatures, although the flower color tends to be slightly better in cooler temperatures.  The wide, light green leaves are smaller than most other abutilons, making the flowers seem even larger.

Keep the potting soil moist at all times and use standard liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks during the flowering season.  You can sow your own seeds and then transfer the seeds to the garden container that you have chosen.  Make sure that each plant will have plenty of room to branch and the first growth should appear in approx 12 weeks.
 
When it comes to selecting a container for your indoor plant we recommend one approx 14" to 18" high.  This should not only give the root system plenty of room to spread but all keep the plant in balance once it starts to grow.  You can use a porous clay like terracotta but make sure there is a saucer underneath to collect run-off.

Because of the neutral color of this plant a
glazed planter with bold colors is a fantastic compliment.  Try to match your decor of country, contemporary or traditional.  Make sure the pot is in indirect light and you should have tremendous success.
 
Read more.....5 tips for success with tabletop containers.
Read more.....Planting a container is easy.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Pots and Winters Cold.




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If you have a home you probably have a number of different kinds of garden planters to decorate with.  When winter rolls around do you know what to do to help protect those garden pots?

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Here are a few tips on how to protect them during the winter months!
 
Terra-cotta means baked earth which means true terracotta clay pottery is naturally porous and vulnerable to harsh winter temperatures of freezing and thawing.  Even though many different kinds of planters are labeled "frost proof" they are labeled this way to be sold in certain types of geographic areas where winter weather isn't an issue.

A frostproof pot may not crack and flake if it only has to endure mild frost.  But in areas where the winter is harsh and extreme you may want to bring your terracotta pottery indoors for the season
.

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The best thing to do is bring the terracotta pots indoors for the winter.  This can be a greenhouse specifically made for this purpose, a corner of a garage or inside a garden shed.  If you want to keep the plants in the garden pots and not clean them out then you can consider moving them indoors for a few months.  Other garden pots are to large to move and just need to be cleaned out and stored.
 
We recommend you remove all plant materials and soil from the garden containers.  Give them a bath in a wheelbarrow filled with water and use a wire brush to scrub them out. If the pottery is fairly clean already you can just hose them off with the garden hose.  Let them dry completely before storing them.  You can use newspaper or bubble wrap to stack them but that isn't necessary.  Stack the planters and pottery in a dry area where they will sit till next Spring.

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If you don't have a garage or shed to store the terracotta clay pots in, we recommend 13398 stacking them after cleaned and dried.  Covering them with a plastic garbage bag and turn them upside down.  Place the stack under a roof eave or next to a protected wall.  The main idea is to keep the water off them so it doesn't soak into the terracotta clay pot and freeze.  Once water freezes, it expands, and that expansion is what cracks the clay pots.
 
It doesn't take much effort to keep your garden pottery looking great from season to season.  Just follow a few of the tips above and you will have super success.  It is worth the time!
 
Read more.....Let's talk terracotta Part 1
Read more.....Branching out with Bonsai


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

It only takes a few minutes.




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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Watering Your Planter Pottery




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Watering plants in decorative containers may seem like it's a simple task.  However, to do it correctly is an acquired art and a very important one at that.  You cannot leave it entirely to nature because rain tends to bounce off the leaves of the healthiest plants and doesn't soak into the soil at all.

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This obviously can create quite the problems.
Garden pottery that is planted and placed outside can dry out quickly on 13389 roasting hot days.  Wind is also very damaging to them and will dry them out just as fast as not watering at all.  Plants in the ground have a root systems  that can spread and find water sources that a potted plant can't get to.

When it gets really warm you may even have to water two times a day instead of one.  You need to keep checking the conditions of the soil and make the adjustments necessary.
 
Here are a few tips to help make this process less complicated and more interesting.  Stick you finger in it!!! That's right.  Just stick a finger in the soil and test for moisture.  Another way is to keep an eye on the leaves and look for wilting or brown spots.

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Try to water the potted flowers first thing in the morning so that the water doesn't evaporate in the afternoon heat before it has a chance to bathe the roots.  Morning not good? then water at night after the sun goes down.  Just avoid over watering, which can bring on disease and pest from rotting roots
.
 
The best water is rainwater or cold water.  If you water is really hard you can even boil it but this isn't really necessary.  Don't allow your potted plants to get waterlogged.  Make sure there is a drain hole in the planter you choose or drill one in.  If you use a saucer tip it after a half hour if still full of run off water.

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For window boxes take your time watering.  Make sure you don't just wet the top 2 inches of soil.  Wait till the water comes out the bottom and the container compost remains moist.  Get all corners of the box and not just the center.  This will keep the roots from bunching in the middle and stunting their growth.  Use the whole planter!

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Hanging baskets are lovely in spring and summer but they need daily watering so don't start one if you can't make the commitment.  On very hot days you should water morning and evening.  Since they are suspended out in the elements they take a lot of abuse and welcome a tender hand.  You can even take them down and immerse them in a large bucket of water if the do dry out.  In the cooler fall months water only when dry. 
 
 13392Lastly, give your potted plants and flowers a little spray.  All plants like to feel clean cold water on their leaves, flowers and stems.  You don't want to be heavy handed here so using a spray bottle is the best way to do it.  A gently mist that surrounds the plant is what you want.  When using a watering can on the roots you want to make sure the soil is moist but getting a light mist on the plants is perfect!!

Give it a go!
 
Read more.....Grow your own edible flowers.
Read more.....Gardeners Book shelf.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Feeding container pottery.




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We know this is not the most exciting topic but it really is important if you want to experience better success with your potted plants.  These few tips can really take the experience of container gardening from a dud, to ta da, so read on......
 
It is not generally understood that most potting composts contain 13384 sufficient food for only 6 weeks of plant growth.  After that the flowers will slowly starve unless more food is provided.  There are several products available that are easy to use and a breeze to find. 

 
A slow release plant food in granules is easy to use, available everywhere and really reliable when added to your potted containers.  For these to be the most effective the soil you plant in needs to remain moist.
 
Slow release plant granules really are the best to use.  Just one dose can keep your potted plants and flowers looking wonderful for many months.  Just follow the manufacturers instructions for recommendations.  They come come in different forms also, like liquid, pots, pellets etc.  Just go to your local nursery and read the containers or ask for help.  It is worth taking the time on this step.
 
 13385A slow release plant food can be added to the potting mix before filling the container.  When adding it to soil sprinkle i on the surface and then use a small hand rake to mix it into the soil or compost.  They should be pushed down below the surface by about 1". 

Give your potted plants and flowers the best chance of growing lush and bountiful by using a simple fertilizer in the potting mix and see what works best for you.  It's easy and fun to do.
 
Read more.....Plants for window boxes.
Read more.....Conifers in garden pottery.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Secrets of a perfect bouquet




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There are many benefits of growing your own potted flowers that can bring great joy to the process.  One of them is being able to bring them indoors and create a lovely bouquet.  Many gardeners grow what is called "cutting gardens".

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This consist of flower specifically for cutting and making lovely potted arrangements with.  These include many flowers that are not really great to grow for landscape but make fantastic arrangement displays.  This whole process can be as simple as cutting the flowers carefully and conditioning the blooms before arranging them.

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Here are a few easy tips to follow:
 
Try cutting the flowers when the sun is low in the morning or evening.  Be sure a use scissors that are meant for this purpose and cut at a deep angle to provide as much surface as possible for soaking up water.  For most flowers, cut when buds are half open or when some of the buds in a cluster are still closed.  We love Zinnias, marigolds, asters, and dahlias.

Get the cut flowers into warm water as quickly as possible, their stems being to dry out in as short as a few minutes so this is not the time to stop and chat with a neighbor.  It helps to carry a bucket of water and immerse the flowers immediately after cutting.

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All the flowers to condition in a cool place for 4 to 12 hours before you use them in a decorative container for the arrangement.  Use a container that compliments your decor, holds water and has a waterproof base so you don't get any water rings on your furniture. 

Arizona Pottery has many
containers to choose from.  Clay, to Poly or glass are all great to use and fun to experiment with.
 
Read more.....5 Tips for success with tabletop containers!
Read more.....7 water loving plants for pottery.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Butterflies In The Garden




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To bring life and color to your potted plants, plant flowers that attract butterflies and their caterpillars.

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Planting lush, colorful flowers in garden pots is easy to do, but when you are at the local nursery why not look at the plants that will attract wildlife to your yard as well?    Butterflies are always looking for a drink of flower nectar to fuel their short, intense lives.  Simply selecting a lovely piece of pottery and then filling it with the right type of plant materials will attract all kinds of stunning butterflies.

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Most butterflies live for just a few weeks.  During their short lives, they are looking for flowering plants that can give them nectar.  You really don't have to plant special types of flowers to attract butterflies since all flowers will attract them.  But, if you try these specific ones they will stop by for sure.  Plant more than a single pot of them and you will get a large number and variety of them.

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Butterflies will flock to bright zinnias, asters, clover and dill.  The most successful potted plants provide a ton of blooms from early spring to late fall.  Marigolds, snapdragons and great butterfly draws.  Make sure that the pots are in a area where they get sun because butterflies like to bask in it.  If the pots are in a covered or shaded area maybe you can move them occasionally for partial sun exposure.

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It doesn't take a great deal to entice butterflies to visit our yards.  As butterflies
drift from pot to pot and flower to flower, lapping up nectar, their presence is our own sweet reward.


Read more.....Nasa & Houseplants - Who Knew?
Read more.....Growing chili peppers in garden pots.


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 Comments (1) Last comment made 
25
2/9/2012 11:21:47 PM 
Cheryl Ward 2/9/2012 11:21:47 PM 
i have always loved butterflies and just like the idea of growing plants in pots to attract them. i can't wait to try some of these tips. thanks

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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Marvelous Potted Mint!




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Planting and growing mint in a garden planter is easy and fun to do.  Crush a sprig between your fingers and you will smell that heavenly aroma that is so popular and yummy!  It is cool, soothing and it makes your mouth water.  It's heavenly aroma also chases away the blues that can overtake you when temperatures are cold and the days are dark.  Boost your vitality and refresh your senses, plant some mint!

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There are so many kinds of mint to consider when planting mint in garden pots.  Each one has a unique flavor and smell.  When you are at the local nursery, check out the seed packets as well as the starts to choose from.  Chocolate mint has grown in popularity and is very commonly available.  Look for Moroccan, Cuban & Egyptian that you can use in food preparation.

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Since mint is invasive like most herbs, it is perfectly suited to pottery.  By placing the plant in a garden pot you can keep the roots from spreading and taking over your garden.  Select a large wide mouth bowl.  Since they tend to be shallow it is a great style for the mints root system.

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Go with a concrete, poly resin or stone planter so that you won't have to re-pot once the plant takes off.  Terracotta is meant to break down over time but it also great for healthy root systems because it breathes.

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Every heard of a Mojito?  Well here is a simple recipe that is great with your home grown mint.
The secret to a good Mojito is lots of fresh mint.  In a 8 oz glass combine 20 rinsed mint leaves & 2 teaspoons superfine sugar.

With a wooden spoon, pound mint leaves with sugar to coarsely crush.  Add 4 Tablespoons light rum, 3 tablespoons fresh lime and mix well.  Fill glass with ice and 4 tablespoons chilled soda water.  Garnish with more mint.
YUMMY!!!!!

Read more.....How thirsty are your potted plants?
Read more.....Tips for fantastic containers.


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 Comments (1) Last comment made 
25
2/9/2012 11:21:47 PM 
Jennifer Hamilton 2/6/2012 10:06:24 AM 
Love the tips. we use mint a lot at our home and so these tips were really helpful.

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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Whats happening this February?



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Ever heard of a Valentine's day Shrub?  This winter
bloomer
produces a show of red rose, blooms that nearly obscure the plant's foliage in February and March.  When no hidden by flowers, the foliage takes on a purple cast adding to the appeal of this lovely plant.  If you don't want to try it in your garden, how about potting it in a lovely red ceramic planter and giving it as a gift for the holiday?  Easy and unique!

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Now is the time to cut back on your ornamental grasses.  All winter long they have provided your garden pots with color, and substance.  Shear them back before new growth comes in Spring and keep them looking neat and tidy. Once cut back they will start new growth spurts that will conceal the trimmed portion of the plant.

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Right now is when you want to be thinking about sowing seeds or setting out your transplants of garden veggies.  Make sure your pots are cleaned out.  Use fresh potting soil and follow the directions on your seed packets.  Planting veggies in garden pots are fun and create a lovely colorful garden that you can have right on your patio.
Lastly, if you still have some hardy annuals potted sitting on a porch or 13332 patio you must continue to protect them from frost.  Here we show you have to take a tomato cage and drape it with burlap, sheets, old blankets etc to protect it from the cold elements.

Cover at night and remove in the morning so it can get some light and sun.

By taking these few cautious steps you can prolong the life of your annuals and keep your garden and patio areas looking lovely.  Next Spring and Summer are right around the corner!
 
Read more.....Beyond the basic herbs.
Read more.....Know your indoor plants.


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Planting a Potted Rock Garden




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Even though the English are really well know for having outstanding rock garden, Americans tend to like them also.  If you have plenty of space to spread out and create a detailed rock garden than you are one of the luck ones.  For the rest of us, planting one in a garden container is simple and easy to do.  Here are a few tips to consider.

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What makes a rock garden look unique?  The plants are tucked between rocks of various sizes creating a miniature mountain landscape.  The plants you select can take many forms.  Scotch heather, sunrose and crete dittany are a few of the more popular plants.  You can use ground hugging vines and creepers or types that can reach up to 2 feet in height.  Some leaves are bush and other flowers are dainty and tiny.

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What makes rock gardening in a container so successful that is by taking some of these dainty fragile plant materials and potting them in container, they are protected and less vulnerable.  They are portable and can be easily displayed on a patio or front porch area.  By choosing a wide shallow opening on a garden planter, you will have more surface area to plant a large variety of plants and accessories.

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Read more.....Got Nectar?
Read more.....Pottery Collector!


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Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.


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