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

Grand Kids in the Garden




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Gardening with children especially grand-children can be a wonderful and rich bonding experience.  The older ones can pass along their wisdom and gardening knowledge and the younger ones can have fun playing in the dirt, learning new things and hanging out with their favorite grandparents.
 
We have all read the studies that say being outdoors for young and old can be healthy.  You get the added Vitamin D from the sun, and you can reduce stress and anxiety by just getting away from the TV and computers.

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And, donít forget to leave the cell phone on the charger indoors.  This is not the time to be interrupted.

Plan on making this time spent with your grandchildren fun and not a chore that they won't like.  Playing in dirt with pottery & tools is suppose to be fun not laboring.
Having a child start with seeds or seedling by planting it themselves, then watching it grow into something that is beautiful they can look at, or yummy that they can eat will teach confidence and skills of accomplishments.

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The best place to start is at the beginning when deciding what to grow and plant.  If they are involved in the planning stage they will be more likely to stick with the process through harvesting.

Let them have their own plants or veggies and make them responsible for them.  A good place to go is online or to a book store.  Even Home Depot can be a learning process and a lot of fun.  Let them select small size garden pots so their hands can hold them.  Work with simple pot designs that they can paint or decorate.
 
Teach them about:

Different soil, diseases that can happen, bugs that are beneficial and get them their own kid sized garden tools, gloves, buckets, and planter pots.  Plant herbs, flowers, veggies and fruits.  There are many species that are easy for your particular area and those are best ones to start with.  Ask for advise from the local nursery if unsure.

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Now is the time to nurture them, teach them and have fun with them.  You may not get a second chance!
 
Read more.....A no fuss garden planter.
Read more.....Cluster your garden containers.


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Fragrance in Containers.




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Gardening in containers is easy, and allows you to bring lovely fragrances up close, whether in a window box, hanging basket or pots on the front porch.  How about a wonderful aromatic garden pot large potted plants on your deck or patio? 
 
Annuals, perennials, and a few shrubs and bulbs provide strong fragrance and grow well in garden pots.  Here is a sample of plants you can fill your containers with that are unfussy and very fragrant.  Nothing left to do but sit back reap the compliments on your gardening success.

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Scented Geraniums - they grow for their leaves rather than the flowers and are best handled as pot grown perennials left outdoors in summer and kept indoors when temps drop below freezing.

Use a herb set like the photo show and a number of different species.  Many gardeners enjoy collecting these under demanding plants with fragrances that include rose, mint, lemon and even chocolate.  The do best in pots placed in full sun in spring and 50 percent sun in summer.  Water them regularly and fertilize from spring to autumn.
 
Gardenias - is one of the most fragrant plants on earth.  It is a tropical shrub that serves well as a summer patio plant, but it needs a cool place to spend winter - indoors.  The best time to grow them is in early summer.  Water lightly during winter when the plants are indoors.  We love this potted plant and the fragrance is heavenly.

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Bulbs - Plant fragrance hyacinths and paper white narcissus in pots in the fall.  Dampen well, the place the pots in a cold place for at least 6 weeks.  Like a garage or under a stairwell in the basement.  Move the pots indoors in late winter, and treat them as sun lovoing houseplants until they flower.
A quick list of some good smelling plants to pot are:  Flowering tobacco, Heliptrope, lilac, Sweet Alyssum, petunia, stock and pinks.  All are lovely in color and style and the fragrances are wonderful and potent.

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It is also fun to combine fast growing annual flowers in 14" garden pots creating fragrant bouquets.  Put taller plants toward the center of the large pot and place smaller plants surrounding them plus add trailing plants toward the edges to create a delightful look.  Include more plants than you would in similar space in the ground.
 
Read more.....Create your own Japanese Garden.
Read more.....Fall color Surprises.


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Guide To Re-Potting Garden Planters!




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Roots protruding from a garden planter's drainage hole is a sure sign that the plant needs to be repotted.  Here are a few helpful tips!
 
Most healthy container grown plants will outgrow the confines of their pots.  A good way to reinvigorate a root bound plant is to give it a new home.  The first step is to recognize when it's time to re-pot.  Signs to look for are roots tightly packed or protruding from the pots drain hole, and water sitting on the soil surface to long after watering.  The best time to do the re-potting is when they are actively growing, in the Spring or Summer. 

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Root bound plants should slip out of their pots easily; watering first will help.  If much of the soil falls free of the roots, then plant may not need to be repotted.  Roots should be white or light colored.  Black or dark colored are signs of a serious fungal disease.  Now is the time to loosen the roots to increase nutrient absorption.  Rim the roots and loosen up the ball before replanting either way.  Use a sharp knife or pruning shears removing as much as the bottom third of the plants root ball.
 
The new pots size depends on the plant and its potential growth rate.  Rely on your own idea of what a healthy specimen should look like.  When in doubt go bigger than smaller at least by a size or two.  To keep soil from leaking out the drain hole fill the pot with pot filler.  Put a few inches of moist soil in the bottom and position the plant in the pot, centering it.  The goal is the root ball should sit an inch or two below the new garden container's rim.  Fill the space around the root ball with soil.

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Finally trim the potted plants foliage relative to how much the roots were pruned.  In other words if you take one third of the root ball off then take one third of the top growth off as well.  Water the plant and keep it moist, shaded and cool till it is re-established
.
 
Read more.....The best container plants part I
Read more.....the best container plants part II


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Pot Some Inner Beauties!




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On the outside a Chioggia (kee-oh-jah) looks like any common beet.  But slicing it crosswise reveals a gorgeous
red & white bull's eye.  This heirloom variety dates back to the mid- 1800's and has a sweet, mild flavor that makes it extra versatile. 
 
Sow seeds in rich, well draining soil in full sun.  Space seeds about an inch apart and cover with 1/4" compost.  To grow in a garden planter, choose a container that is at least 8" deep and wide and fill with fresh potting soil.  Keep soil moist but not soggy, and feed beets lightly with an organic fertilizer when tops are a few inches tall.
 
Pull up the potted beets when the tops of the roots are 1 to 3 inches across, usually about 50 to 60 days after planting.  Store beets in the vegetable drawer for up to 2 weeks.  Peel before using raw or after roasting.

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In a salad:
  Shave raw beets paper thin with a mandolin or vegetable peeler.  Toss with a vinaigrette of lemon juice and olive juice.  Sprinkle with chopped hazelnuts and torn mint leaves.  As a main course you can cut the roasted beets into quarters and toss with wilted spinach, olive oil and a squeeze of lemon.  Top with a poached egg, freshly shredded Parmesan cheese, and pepper.  If you want to eat them on the side we recommend drizzling extra virgin olive oil over cooked and sliced beets or fresh goat cheese and chopped green onion.
 
Easy to grow, can be grown in garden planters and yummy to eat!
 
Read more.....Create this stunning planter!
Read more.....Sweeten the pot!


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Collecting Terracotta Pottery




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There are many different kinds of terracotta being manufactured as of this blog entry.  Arizona Pottery imports from Italy, China, Indonesia & Mexico.  Each type is completely different has distinctive characters.
 
While some people collect key chains when they travel, many collect different types of clay pots.  They can be seen sitting on airplanes with pieces of pottery proudly sitting in their laps.  Below we will explain some of the differences and why they are desired.
 
 14608-ItalianItalian terracotta is know in the world as the finest most beautiful clay you can purchase.  It is very smooth, a lovely sun baked color and is compact and hard.  This clay is still harvested from the ground and can be found all over the Italian countryside.  Even though most factories are small and family owned, they produce 100% of the Italian clay pots found in the world.  The styles being manufactured today are limited but the quality can't be beat.  These are usually machine made so you find them consistent in size and style.
 
 14609-ChineseThe Chinese imported clay pottery is being made from a clay mix, that is form and then baked in large mud huts.  This clay is very rough, porous and can be found many times with a slight white washing on the sides.  Without being sealed, it will break down over time and not hold up like the Italian clay.  The firing process is rather primitive so the clay is not high fired and durable.  The Chinese are know for making very intricate and decorative pieces like the basket weave, braided, monogrammed and more.  They have a wide variety of jars, rectangles, and hexagons.  These are usually hand made.
 
 14610 MexicanMexican clay is very heavy, porous and will break down faster than most other terracotta products.  Low fired, dark red terracotta they come in basic designs but are still know for their 3 legged pots, hose pots and chimineas.  They usually are hard carved and each piece will look slightly different.  You will also notice that many are sealed on the inside with a black tar product which is their way of helping to hold the clay together longer.  These are usually hand made.
 
Read more.....Great gardens with potted plants.
Read more.....Are you downsizing in this economy?


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Re-Create This Garden Planter At Home




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These intricate plants make a impact up close!
In this container combo, a lovely ceramic planter pot showcases interesting plants with variations of color that could never be seen from a distance.  Whether it's the variegation in the tiny leaves of the rupturewort spilling out of the pot, the ultra-fine cut leaves of the scented geranium, or the hint of pink in the pedilanthus, these details are best viewed and appreciated from the comfort of a favorite patio chair.
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1.  Variegated rupturewort (Herniaria
glabra 'Sea foam').
2.  Paddle plant (kalanchoe thyrsiflora)
3.  Variegated pedilanthus (pedilanthus tithymalorides)
4.  Fernleaft geranium (pelargonium denticulatum)
5.  Red Stemmed pilea (pilea)
This potted display is best in full sun.
 
Read more.....themed potted gardens.
Read more.....organizing your potting items.


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Create This Window Box




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This look is romantic and colorful.  It works on a large patio area where you have lots of room to plant and grow potted flowers.  As you can see in the photo is also works where space is limited and you must utilize every inch.  Enjoy a early morning cup of coffee sitting at this table or a romantic dinner for two.  Either way this look is sure to please.
 
Starting from left you have:
The pink is a popular bloodleaf grown mostly for foliage, loves full sun.
Next is the arrow shaped saliva leaves that will open to spires of long purple flowers.   Then comes the blue Brazilian verbena already in flower and shown inside a terracotta clay rectangle planter.  We love this flower.  The climber on the trellis is a showy pink mandevilla vine that flaunts gorgeous trumpet shaped flowers as the vine scales the wall.  The window box planter on the window is filled with shade tolerant pink impatiens.  These are so popular and great for garden containers of all sizes.  The dark green climber on the back trellis is a green glossy gardenia leaf that will bloom a white blossom and the smell is heavenly.  Lastly are the planter boxes along the railing that are filled with the love annuals called petunias in a mix of pinks and purples.

See how easy this is to create - give it a go and tell us how it worked for you!
 
Read more.....The potted tree.
Read more.....Balconies and window tips.


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.

Designing with Pots.




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No matter where you live, pots of flowers and plants add pizzazz to the ordinary, brighten dull areas with splashes of color and transform blank spaces into focal points.  Though it really is one of the easiest landscape projects, there's more to creating a gorgeous container garden than putting out some pots.  Here are some simple and easy ways to get spectacular arrangements.

Color - Texture - Form - Scale


Color:  This is perhaps the most important aspect.  Cool tones, such as green and blue, recede, making a space look larger.  Warm colors, such as red and orange, stand out, and help create a closer, more intimate atmosphere.   To enhance overall harmony and continuity, plant the same or softly complementary floral and foliage tones in your planters and group them together.  However, if you want to emphasis the individuality of each garden container, use different plant species and colors in separate pots to achieve that result.

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Texture:  This can be as important as color.  The details can be large or small but without them, the visual harmony it makes will be diminished.  A textured plant has a big impact on our senses.  Match plants that have similar textures.  Use garden plants that are similar.  Concrete, terracotta baked clay, poly resin or high shine glazed will all give a different look and feel to the arrangements.  Employ texture to evoke different moods and effects and don't forget to keep the look, feel and touch of the container as well.  Choose a finish that accents and improves the plants texture.

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Form:  Shape and structure are powerful design tools with which you can produce a wide range of emotions, such as drama or tranquility.  This applies to both containers and plants.  Sharp lines and angles tend to create excitement.  If you prefer a calm relaxed atmosphere, try curved lines and rounded forms.  Pot shape is very important.  Using the same form though out could become monotonous, but on the other hands, a collection of many different ones is likely to look jumbled.

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Scale:  This involves proportion and size.  Working with just these two aspects alone can produce very different container designs.  Try to incorporate two or three different pot sizes and shapes in a collection.  Visual interest results from the noticeable difference between pots.  Choosing plants that accentuate the look and shape of the pots further enhances the display.  Try a tall and narrow pot or a short and wide container and choose plants that accent them.
 
Read more.....A gardeners Play Station.
Read more.....A room for all seasons.


By

Arizona Pottery On-line Inc.


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