Yep, we can honestly say we LOVE terra-cotta garden planters! When Arizona Pottery first started that is all we sold. Nothing but real clay garden pottery and some accessories. They were and still are the basis of our business. You may ask yourself why do we love terracotta planters so much? Well, let us explain.
Plant Health - Terracotta breathes. This means the clay, which is real and harvested out of the ground is not so compact that it lets air thru it. This also means water will saturate the pot and seep. A plants roots like good air circulation and clay flowerpots are know for being healthy. Once you use real clay you will find that your houseplants will perform better.
Watering - Since a clay pot is porous it will keep water from sitting in the bottom of the pot, soaking the roots and possibly drowning them. The water will seep into the clay and dissipate. Unfortunately if you have chemicals in the soil or water they will show up on the sides of the pot as a white calcium line.
Beauty - Because real terracotta pottery is porous it will start to age and show it's wear. Many folks really like this and will even take steps to age their clay containers by applying yogurt or milk to the outside of the clay pot. Everyone has a different idea of what beauty is but we love the aged, rustic look of terra-cotta pots and planters.
Selection - Arizona Pottery imports real clay flower pots from Italy, China, Mexico and Vietnam. Each factory uses their own clay mix or will harvest the clay out of the ground using their own firing process. Some clays are smooth and silky like the Italian, while the Mexican clay is dark and very porous. So porous and heavy that it will start to break down the first year of use. We love the old traditional styles of Rolled Rim Garden Planters as well some of the newer more contemporary styles. There is always something to choose from.
Many Uses - Yes real clay garden pottery will break but that doesn't mean you should toss them. You can re-purpose them into pot shards to fill the bottom of your larger containers. The terracotta shards will shield the drain hole and keep soil from plugging it up. You can stack large pieces into pots and create a fairy garden or elf shelf. Don't toss those broken pieces.... think outside the box and have fun with them.
So those are a few of the reasons why we love our terracotta home and garden planters so much. If you wish to share your thoughts we would love to hear them.
If you haven't taken the time to take an inventory of your fall garden containers, then now is the time to do so. Do the flowers look spent, or the veggies given up and the grasses no fared well in the winter wind gusts? Then it's time to transition them into winter items that will hold up to the cold and harsh weather that is coming.
The first thing you need to do is toss all the plants and replace the potting soil. Now is not the time to try to salvage anything. Pick new plant materials that can with stand the harsh conditions coming in the colors and textures that will easily mix up and create a beautiful arrangement. Add color with painted sticks, berry branches or colorful shades of greens and yellows.
Fill your winter containers with Birch Branches. They look lovely when clustered together and add a depth of texture to a garden container that is lovely for many months. Ever seen colored branches like dogwood? They come in red to yellow and you can find other textured branches like reeds or thin sticks that come in brown and can be woven and displayed beautifully.
When it comes to plants try evergreens like boxwood that can be made into topiary. Conifers of all sorts will work wonderfully. Any kind of greenery that can handle the cold will be stunning covered in a light snowfall.
Berried branches like winterberry and dried seed pots add an artistic touch that really upgrades any garden container. Ornamental grasses add height to the center of a planter and trailing ivy flows over the pots sides, draping the planter in color.
Don't wait till it's too cold to transition your planters. Now is the time to make the most of the remaining weather.
You selected the perfect garden planter, you researched and purchased the best kinds of plants and now you ask, When is the best time to water? Good question. You want to make sure when it comes to watering your potted plants you get it right. Of course we all know that too much or too little can kill most plants and make those garden planters look pretty bad.
First you must make sure that your garden pottery has drain holes. Even succulents & cacti don't like to sit in standing water. Then early morning is the best time to water your planters. This is because the sun is barely up and the temps are still pretty cool. Now is the time that water can penetrate the soil and get down to the roots before being evaporated by the sun & heat.
Watering your planter early also means that the plants will have time to soak up and store some of the water before they are dried out and waiting in the afternoon. Don't believe that spraying the leaves of the potted plants and then having the full sun hit them will scorch them or cause burning. That is simply not true.
The second best time to water your potted garden planters is late afternoon or early evening. What you are trying to do is to avoid watering your containers in the middle of the day. If you wait till early evening try not to get water all over the plants leaves. Letting the water sit on the leaves can cause pathogens and disease. So if you have a choice always go with morning or late morning.
Do NOT water at night. You think it's a good time to water your planters so that they can soak up all that moisture but it really causes disease like stated above because there is not evaporation.
So to rap this up, here are a few last tips.
Don't overwater - look for limp or soggy leaves, rotting at the stem or tips browning.
Water consistently over the surface of the soil and not your leaves. When you water, water deeply. The deeper the better for encouraging the potted plants roots to spread throughout the planter.
As the years go by you find yourself collecting more and more garden planters. Many of them are very expensive or just ones that you love very much. So of course you want to protect them from Winters cold and damage. Here are a few tips that may help ease your discomfort.
Before anything you need to clean them out and clean them up. Of course this is only for garden pottery that is empty and being stored. Start by dumping the soil into a compost pile or recycle can. You will not be using it again so it has to go. You do not want to pass on any bugs, mold or fungus that may be growing in the soil so get rid of it and start fresh next season.
Use a wire or stiff bristle brush to scrub off any chunks of soil that are sticking to the insideof the flowerpot. Then mix a bucket of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water. Now scrub the inside with the bleach mix to disinfect the pot and make sure any thing that may be still attached to the insides are killed or removed. Let the pots dry completely before storing them in the garage or shed.
Ideally all garden pottery and planters should be stored indoors over the winter months. May planters are frost resistant but not frost proof. This means they can handle light frost but not freezing weather. If there is standing water from rain or drip system in the soil and the soil freezes, the water will expand and crack the planter.
If you are leaving the empty planters outdoors, try flipping them over and use bricks, pot feet or wood to keep them off the ground. You can cover the empty containers with a large garbage bag to keep the water off or cover with burlap wrap. If you can't flip them then just fill them with hay or mulch to protect them from the water and cold.
If you can't move the garden planters and need to keep them planted then you need to top the pots with mulch to keep the water out and the roots from freezing. We like wrapping the planter with burlap and string to help. Plastic bubble wrap works etc. We know it's not the most beautiful look but if it saves your planters from cracking it's well worth it.
The only exception for all the above information is a terra cotta flower pot. Terra cotta is porous and absorbs water like a sponge. This is healthy for the plants but obviously bad for freezing water conditions. If you can't bring them in, get the pots off the ground, wrap in a waterproof bag or tarp and move them under a roof eave so water doesn't directly hit them. If you can't do any of that then at least lay down a thick layer of mulch or hay to protect the top soil.
Hope this helps and you find some of these tips for protecting your garden planters from freezing during Winter work.
Finding the most beautiful and healthy plants and flowers for your garden containers isn't that hard to do. Most local nursery and garden centers carry a wide selection that are mostly healthy and lovely. Now keeping them looking that way for as long as possible is the goal of every container gardener. By following a few tips listed below you are well on the way to achieving that goal.
1. Pick the perfect garden pot. Make sure you get the right size before anything else. You do not want to put a palm into a pot that is so small it tips over in a robust wind or so little that it cramps the roots from growing and spreading. All plants and flowers have roots that need room to grow in soil that has nutrients in it. If a container is too large it can result in over moist soil and drown the roots. If you have a lot of space in the pot and you keep the soil moist, you may get moss and mildew issues that are not welcome. Also make sure you garden container has drain hole. No standing water in flowerpots is recommended.
2. Plant you new pottery container with a plan. It seems harmless to just dig in and go for it but the result will not be as successful if you follow a few steps. Make sure you use plants with the right light needs with where you are putting the finished pot. A plant that needs full sunlight will not grow if you place the garden planter on a covered porch that sees mostly shade. Try to mix flowering plants and colors with green foliage to fill in the planter and make them look overflowing and full. Just make sure they need the same amount of water.
3. Be selective about the potting soil you use. Never use garden soil for many reason but mostly you will NOT have healthy plants. If you plant succulents make sure you are using pumice soil that drains well. If flowers are more to your liking a nice potting mix that has compost in it works great. Don't recycle potting soil if you had diseased plants growing it in already. Start fresh! The main thing to remember here is never underestimate the power of the correct potting mix.
So follow these easy steps and you are well on the way to have garden containers that look stunning all season long.
Arizona Pottery sells one of the largest collection of talavera pottery, garden animals, luminarias, spheres and so much more. We imported directly from the factory to our Tucson warehouse where we ship it across the US to you our beloved customers. So, you see it and you love it but let's talk a bit about what it is and where it comes from.
Talavera is one of the finest ceramics of Mexico and from the Spanish colonial period of rich old world design and colorful heritage. Talavera pottery was first introduced to Mexico by Spanish guild artisans of the colonial perios. Commonly called "majolica" in Spain, Mexican Talavera draws its name from the 16th century Spanish pottery center, Talavera de la Reina.
The process to create Talavera pottery is elaborate and it has basically not changed since the early colonial period when it was first introduced. The first step is to mix black sand and white sand. It is then washed and filtered to keep only the finest particles.
Next it is shaped by hand on a potters wheel, then left to dry for a number of days. Then comes the first firing . The piece is tested to see if any cracks occur. The initial glazing, which creates a milky white background is applied. After this, the design is hand painted. Finally, a second firing to harden the glaze.
One of the most desired things about talavera pottery is the bold bright colors and unique patterns. Since each piece is hand painted they are one of a kind. Everyone knows the look of talavera and it is well loved through out the world.
At Arizona Pottery we try to carry the largest and most unique patterns and designs.
You just hit the local nursery and you now find yourself at home staring at some plants, soil and a garden planter. Now what to do to assure you have the best display in your container?
Start with the basics. Make sure you garden planter has a drain hole. If it doesn't you will need to have the pot drilled. Don't skip this set but it's really important that water drain off and not sit in the bottom of the pottery. Next make sure you have some good potting soil. This really is important. You don't want to use soil from the ground. This simply will not be a healthy start to your new plants and it will inhibit the growth
Now design. Well here is the big tip - Make sure you have a thriller, spiller and filler. Sounds simple enough right! The thriller is the main, eye catching plant. It usually has some height to it like a grass or spiky plant. You want it shooting out of the garden planter and looking dramatic.
Now what is a spiller? Well this is the plant that will drape down the side of the garden planter or yard container. Like a vinica, or ivy. It will spill out over the top of the planter and add interest and depth. You don't not want all your flowering plants and grasses to be just on the top layer. Add some length and another level.
Lastly is the filler. These are the colorful flowers you want to plant that will fill out the pot and give it a dome shape. Geraniums are a great choice along with marigolds and verbenas. They last, have lots of color and will fill out your garden planter beautifully.
Once you make sure you have all 3 pieces of the container puzzle it's really easy to do. Plant the thriller in the center of the pot. The fillers around the middle pot and the spillers around the outer edge of the container. As they grow they will blend beautifully and give you the more stunning flower pot display.
Place on a patio, porch or in a garden area where it can be admired for many months. Good luck!
Have you ever seen a hanging flower pot over flowing with colorful flowers that you didn't just love? They are some of the most stunning and decorative flower pots you can display.
There are many types of hanging baskets & planters that you can purchase from your local nursery or right here at Arizona Pottery. We sell a poly resin light weight garden bowl that is durable, comes in 32 colors, hangs from a tri-chain and is available in 5 large sizes. You can create a nice display or go with our huge size and create a display that can't be rivaled by anyone else. At 25" round this baby is huge.
Because our light weight hanging pots are custom made for you, you get to decide if you want a drain hole or not. This is good for deciding on where the pot will hang. Do you want it draining over a patio chair. Probably not. So we give you a choice.
After you decide on what container you are going to use, it's time to think about potting soil & water needs. Purchase a nice potting soil meant for flowers. This way you will have the best chance of a colorful display. When it comes to water, make sure you keep the soil moist but not damp. So you will need to water every day. Since the pot is hanging, the circulating air will cause the soil to dry out faster than a normal garden pot.
Then select the types of flowers, bulbs, trailing ivies, succulents, cactus or evergreens that you want to display. We suggest mixing them up to create a greater effect. Plant one hanging planter with all colorful flowers, another with a lush green fern and so on. Try to plant the center first and move around to the outside of the pottery. Try a small palm in the center shooting up, surround with colorful flowers and end the outside with trailing vines.
Now pick where they will hang. Off a wall, on a fence post, along the railing on a porch. Place there where they can get some sunlight and if you have drain holes where they won't drain onto a chaise or chair. If you have a seating area on your patio try placing them around the outer edge so people are hitting their heads on them or the planters aren't draining where people will walk and possibly slip.
It sounds like a lot to remember but the main point is to create something wonderful. Lots of color, fragrance & visual beauty! You will not regret adding a couple of hanging planters to your garden pottery display. Good Luck!
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!
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.