The Pottery Post Blog
 

Grow & Dry Potted Basil



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How to dry fresh basil.

You may ask why we are bringing up drying basil in the dead of winter?  Well, we think you should be planning now what herbs, flowers, and plants you want to grow in garden containers this coming spring.  So maybe if we tell you how to dry potted basil (popular herb) and why you want to dry it, you will include it in your coming garden décor.

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Dried basil in flowerpots can be used in so many cooking recipes.  Sauces, pesto, chicken and pasta dishes.  It really is one of the most used and desired herbs you can pot and grow at home.  And, have you ever priced basil at the grocery store?  argh.

 854 Potted Basil Plant

If you donít want to grow your own basil in flowerpots you can always dry any fresh basil that you purchase at the grocery store.

After harvesting the basil grown in clay planters, make sure itís gently washed.  Lay the basil bunches in a dish strainer or on a kitchen towel where they can dry completely.  Remove as much stem as possible because they donít dry so well.

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Preheat your oven to the lowest setting.  Line a baking sheet with parchment and spread leaves out so they arenít touching. Place in the oven for around 1 to 2 hrs. checking every 15 mins or so.  You donít want the leaves to burn but just feel dry to the touch.  Remove and cool completely.  Now you can crumble it up removing any stems.  Bottle the crumbles and store in a cabinet out of sunlight.

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See how simple this is!  You can easily grow and dry your own basil in almost any size and kind of flowerpot.  By using a clay planter instead of planting directly into your yard or garden, you can container the roots from spreading.  We like to grow all herbs in terracotta clay instead of other types of garden pottery because the clay will breathe and that is good for creating healthy roots.  So, if you have clay flowerpots or any clay planters laying around use those first.  Just make sure they are large enough to hold the number of herbs you want to grow.

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potted basil, grow basil in flowerpots, dry potted basil, basil dried



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Post Last Updated: 2/20/2020 2:02:42 PM 

Plant Leaves In Clay Planters



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How to create interesting garden containers

If you have a green thumb touch, or maybe not so much here are some tips that may help when it comes to what types of plant materials to pot in your garden containers.  Of course, everyoneís tastes are different and we encourage that, but these tips can work in general ways also.  These tips also work with all types of garden containers.  Clay flowerpots, Clay Planters, Concrete Pottery, Glazed flowerpots, tall, thin and window box pottery.  Make it simple and keep it simple!

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Mix different leaf textures & sizes
Potting green plants in your home and garden pottery or containers is not the most exciting thing to do but if you think about it, they make a wonderful filler for very little financial investment.  If you put your palms, flowers, bulbs or succulents in the center of your planter and fill the border with leaves and greens you will have a much fuller flower pot arrangement without a lot of expense.

Sample:

Lambís Ear:  We love these silky soft leaves.   They range from pale yellow to deep emerald green and have a fuzzy softness to them.  These are great when planted in clay planters all alone because they grow fast and provide lots of colors as well as filler.  The leaves have almost a light grey cast to them because of all the fuzz.  Love it!

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Ferns:  Ferns are known for their feathery tapered leaves.  They range in too many colors to list here but they are perfect as filler or as stand-alone.  Each leaf has a natural bend to it so it looks lovely draped on the outside of your clay flowerpots and glazed planters.  Ferns are also perfect for patio or porch hanging terracotta planters.

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Hosta:  These leaves are little paddles that look lovely when mixed with spikey flowers or plants that have height.  A deep green that complements all colors of flowers, even white.  When mixed with other green leaf plants they add a tremendous contrast in color and style to all your clay planters or clay flowerpots.

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So hopefully these few suggestions can spark some inspiration in you and make potting up your home and garden planters, clay flowerpots or clay window box planters easier, more enjoyable and lovely to look at.
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Post Last Updated: 2/5/2020 1:17:59 PM 

Save Water With Ollas



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What is an Olla and why do you need them?

The definition of an olla is a low fired, clay ceramic vessel used to save a gardener time, energy and water.  Potted planters watered this way do not put stress on water sources and help potted plants to live long healthy lives.  A clay olla watering jar is considered an inexpensive way to maximize the output of your garden while minimizing overwatering, runoff and water loss.

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When watering your garden containers, it is sometimes difficult to get enough water to the roots of the plants only without the water flowing out the bottom drain hole and on to the porch or patio surface.  With the olla planted in the center of the flowerpot, the water will seep out the sides of the porous clay directly into the area where the roots are located.  Many times, the roots will be drawn to this source of water and wrap themselves around the olla bottle.  Water irrigation for garden planters becomes super-efficient and has little runoff or evaporation.

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Bury a watering clay olla in the center of your garden container, leaving 2Ē above the opening of the bottom so dirt and mulch donít fall inside.  Gently tap soil around the olla making sure there are no air pockets.  Fill with water.  Plan on checking the water levels of the ollas on a regular schedule until you have worked with them for a bit to understand how much and how often you should refill them.

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Small size watering ollas are good for porch and patio pots.  Usually, space would be about 2 feet long like a window box planter or wide like a round garden pot or garden bowl.  The medium size is best when you have large planters where you need to water around 3 feet.  The large size is better for potted trees, large shrubs or the largest planters you have.  You can always use multiple ollas in each pot or window box.

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FYI:  When leaving for a short vacation, Ollas are the perfect solution for your flowers to stay healthy and watered while you are gone.  With the slow release of water, they should be good for up to 10 days or so.

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So, a quick recap:
Ollas save water
Good for when on Vacation
Saves money and is inexpensive to purchase & place.
Self-regulating watering system
Promotes root development
Improves soil structure


  601-Olla-Watering-Pots
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ollas, watering vessels, watering pots, watering bottles, oyas, olas, arizonapottery, arizona pottery,




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Post Last Updated: 1/7/2020 12:37:00 PM 

Yummy - Easy - Healthy Potted Garlic



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Looking for something easy to plant and grow in a decorative patio pot, something healthy to eat, wonderful to smell, and looks good in a garden planter?  GARLIC!


If you have never tried to grow garlic in a garden container and watch it grow so you can harvest it, then you are missing out for sure.  Itís really so easy and fun to do.  Great for kids and older adults alike.  Just follow a few easy tips and you can have great success growing your potted garlic.

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As we all know, garlic is one of the most popular herbs you can grow.  Itís used in almost all recipes from spaghetti sauce, to stir fry and everything in between.  Garlic is reported to be a wonderful medicinal plant owing to its preventive characteristics in cardiovascular diseases, regulating blood pressure, lowering blood sugar and cholesterol levels, effective against bacterial, viral, fungal and parasitic infections, enhancing the immune system and so much more.

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The first thing to consider is the right type of garlic to plant in your flowerpot.  If you live in a cold climate purchase Hard neck. The Soft neck kind is better for warmer climates.  You can google this for more information.  The second thing to consider is where you will place the garden containers once they are planted.  The best place to locate your pottery is where they will get full sun.  A patio area or yard and garden area where they can get direct sun without an overhang or awning.

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When selecting the container to grow the garlic in you will need one that is at least 6 inches (15 cm.) deep and has excellent drainage. The garden container also needs to be big enough to leave 6 inches (15 cm.) of space between cloves.  We recommend a terracotta planter, window box, or garden bowl because the clay breathes and is healthy for the soil and garlic to get good air circulation.  But most any garden container will yield success.

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Start with fresh potting mix.  Donít reuse mix from year after year in any of your flowerpots, because the garlic will deplete the nutrients in the soil.  Separate the cloves carefully and set them into the mix pointy side up about 4 to 6 inches into the soil.  Space apart.  Top with soil and mulch the planter.

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Donít overwater these planters.  Allow the soil to dry a bit between watering but never dry out completely.  Feed each flowerpot with fertilizer during the active growing season to help things along.  Stop fertilizing the potted garlic mid-summer when the leaves begin to turn brown and die back.  You will know when to harvest when half or more of the leaves have died.  That is the time to dig up the bulbs.

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Dig them up being careful not to bruise or cut them.  Lay them out to dry for 2 to 3 weeks in a shady area or in a garage.  When the roots feel brittle, rub them off along with excess dirt, but leave the papery skins intact.  You can now store them in bunches, braid them or cut off the stems a few inches above the bulb.  Store on a screen or shelf where they will get good cool, dry air.

See how simple this all is.  You just do a few things the right way and the garlic will reward you with healthy, plentiful amounts of cloves for use

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garlic potted, garlic in flowerpots, potted garlic, grow garlic in flowerpots, garden containers, pottery, planters, pots, arizona pottery



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Post Last Updated: 1/20/2020 2:55:15 PM 

Give Terracotta Pottery A Second Look



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Arizona Pottery has been in the pottery industry since 2000.  We have seen and continue to see all kinds of trends come and go when it comes to choices of garden planters.  Fiberglass, Poly Resin, High Fired, Low Fired, Concrete, Black Clay, Terracotta the list goes on and on.

Why did we start with red terracotta and it continues to be our best seller?  Because it is timeless.  Terra cotta pots have been around for ages and they tend to come and go in popularity but in this post, we want to discuss some of the pros and cons.

When it comes to cons when using terra cotta flowerpots and garden planters the list is pretty short.
* Dry out quickly.
* Breakdown over time.
* Become heavy once planted.
* Discolor over time
* Plain and boring

So letís look at a few pros on why they are basically timeless and still popular.

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HEALTH
Healthy for a plantís, roots Ė Did you know that terra cotta clay breathes?  Yes, it is very healthy for all plants root systems.  Because the clay ďbreathesĒ it will also show the chemicals that are in your potting mix or fertilizer.  Every time you water the potted plant, the water soaks into the clay, eventually seeping out, the clay will start to show a calcium build up or white lines and markings.  This is loved and appreciated by many terracotta owners.  So much so that they try to age their planters by applying milk to the outside so that moss will grow and the pot will look aged faster than the natural process.

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WEIGHT
Terracotta planters are not known for being the heaviest garden containers around but once they are filled with damp potting mix, they can become quite heavy. This is great if you are planting a tree or shrub and the yard pot is placed in a spot where it will receive some wind.  Lightweight or Fiberglass containers will blow over very easily.  If you need added weight you can always put a brick or rocks in the bottom of the planter before adding the potting mix. Just make sure you have it placed where you want it since you wonít be able to move it easily.

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DISCOLORATION
One of the worse and most popular reasons for using terracotta is the aging process that naturally occurs.  Like we stated above green thumb gardeners wonít use anything else and rejoice in the aging process.  It is a sign of beauty and age that can hardly be duplicated.  If you are the type who likes their containers to look brand new then Terracotta is not the planter for you.

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PLAIN/BORING
Yes, terracotta is ageless and is seen everywhere.  Maybe you need something different a bit more modern or contemporary.  Terra cotta pottery is considered traditional, timeless and naturalistic, all good things but maybe not your thing.  That is fine.  If you like the look of clay but not clay itself there are resin pots that are textured and come in the terracotta color that will stand up to an explosion.  Unless someone walks up and knocks on the planter they will not know itís not the real clay of terracotta.

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So, these are the best pros and cons that we can think of today.  How about you?  What do you like or not like about Terracotta garden planters and containers.

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clayflowerpots, terracotta, clay pots, planters, pots, terra-cotta 



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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 3:10:51 PM 

Protect Perennials For Winter



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Now that we are in the middle of Winter how are you unprotected flowerpot perennials doing?  If you havenít taken any steps to protect them this will be your last chance.  Snow and freezing temps can really dish out a beating on your outdoor potted plants.  Without these added steps they can become damaged and possibly not make it till next Spring.

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When looking at your potted rosebushes, flowers, and grasses you need to decide if they need to be cut back so by next spring new growth will appear.  Maybe the planters, want to keep all the dead foliage as a layer of protection from the cold weather, then itís best to leave it alone. 

We all know how a planter of roses needs to be cut back to ensure next seasons growth.  Whether you decide to cut back or leave as is the perennial garden containers you have they all can use a nice dose of mulch.  Mulch will act as a barrier between the cold and freezing roots.  Lay a blanket of fall leaves, some shredded hay or a layer of pinecones, rocks or nuts in the shell.  Create a blanket for the potting mix and plants roots to sleep in comfortably.

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Potted grasses have become very popular over the last few years. They provide a unique almost contemporary look to your homes landscaping and outdoor décor.  They love to be cut back to not only keep them looking their best but to help them conserve their energy during the cold winter months.  Come Spring they will grow again in the colorful vibrant foliage you desire.

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Hydrangea planters donít need to be cut back but if you do so you will be richly rewarded with larger blooms next Spring.  If you choose not to cut them back or just missed the time of year to do so donít worry.  Come next Spring you will still get smaller flowers but the older branches will grow studier.

[Read More] Create An Evergreen Garden
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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 2:48:46 PM 

Squirrels In Your Flowerpots



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Squirrels digging in your flowerpots?

Come on who doesnít think squirrels are cute?  When you went out of the porch to water your flowerpots you noticed some digging in the potting mix or a few nibbles off the leaves is taking place.  Well, we donít believe in harming animals when there are perfectly natural ways to keep them away. It just takes a few simple steps for you to achieve results.

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Many animals donít like the scent of different types of herbs & spices.  So, letís start there.  Sprinkle cayenne pepper around the plants and the scent will keep them away.  Sprinkling ground herbs around living plants are used a lot and will not harm the plants at all.  Paprika or Red Pepper Flakes work also.  Of course, after a bit of time more will need to be added but if it works, then why not!

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If you have thought a time or two about potting some herbs try mixing your garden planters with potted flowers and herbs.  Mix Mint in with other plants and the scent will keep squirrels away.  This not only looks beautiful but if you like the smell of mint having a bit in your garden containers will only add to your enjoyment.

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If the digging is getting out of hand, try laying a layer of mulch, hay, toys, nuts in the shell, seashells, colored rocks or marbles on the top of the potting mix.  The squirrels wonít want to touch them and dig around them to get to the roots of the plant and will move on to an easier next victim.  This can also be fun and give your flowerpots a finish almost decorative look.

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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 1:04:19 PM 

Winter and Garden Pottery



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Winter and Garden Pottery

Not everyone lives in the same type of climate.  Like us here in Arizona have pretty mild Winters. It does get cold but the sky is mostly blue, clear and sunny.  Back on the East Coast, we know that is not the case. Well, where you live can dictate what types of garden planters you choose to grow in and decorate with.

If you are one of the lucky ones that can move large or small containers into a garage or potting shed there are a few steps you need to follow.   Start by removing all plant materials and potting soil.  Now is a great time to compost but whether you do or not doesnít make a difference. The pots need to be cleaned out!

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Start by scrubbing the outside and inside with a soft brush and 10 parts water to 1- part bleach.  Let them dry completely.  Then move them for added protection.  It is not always possible to move extra large pots, so follow these instructions instead.  Clean them out if possible and lift them up off the ground with pot feet or wood boards.  This keeps them from freezing and cracking.

For large pots with plants that are not seasonal, you will need to lay a layer of mulch across the top. This creates a layer between the cold freezing weather and the potting soil, where the plant's roots live.  It also helps if you can wrap the planter with burlap or bubble wrap. This also creates a barrier of protection between the cold and the fragile planter.

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Pots and garden containers can be expensive.  Unless you donít mind replacing your pottery on a regular basis itís best to provide any protection you can so that the pots will last and last for many years.

Terracotta is meant to retain moisture so these are the most likely to crack.  You need to keep them covered with a plastic bag so water doesnít seep into the clay. If it does and the weather freezes then these types of garden containers will crack.  Materials that do well in Winter are concrete, sandstone, frost proof glazed planters or fiberglass and polyresin.  These materials are meant to repel water.  But, as a caution remember if a glazed pot cracks or chips, water will find it and seep in. Then itís just a matter of time before the pot will break down.

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So, hopefully, this information is helpful.  Take care, be wise and you will help your home and garden containers last for many years!

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Post Last Updated: 2/19/2019 12:50:27 PM 

The Best Climbing Vines



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Do you have a patio wall that is blank and ugly?  You never seem to find the right piece of art that can hang outside and look good year after year.  How about a porch that needs some help for added color and beauty? 

Try a climbing vine in a pot.  These vines are easy to grow in a flowerpot and will add a vertical touch to your porch or patio décor.  Here are a few suggestions to help you get started.  Remember though that there are many types of climbers that will work good in a flowerpot so donít limit yourself to the ones listed below.

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IVY Ė We all know Ivy and love it.  You see it growing outside a traditional home as well as an English Tudor style.  It is virtually one of the best climbers to pot and is great for beginners because of its hardy growth.  Potted Ivy likes a wide and shallow container better than a narrow and deep one but that shouldnít limit you.  This climber likes most size pots! Place around the outside of any garden planter where you want it to grow over the side.  Set your garden container next to the wall you want it to grow on and attache it to make it climb as it grows.  Beautiful.

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CLIMBING HYDRANGEA Ė Everyone knows hydrangea.  The smell and beautiful blooms make is a wonderful addition to any garden container.  Since it can grow up to 70 feet long itís perfect for a patio wall or porch.  The main thing to consider is the larger the planter you can handle the better.  This time of climbing vine likes room to grow to stay healthy.  Use a trellis in the planter and have the vine weave in and out of it to create a vertical barrier for privacy.

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BOUGAINVILLEA Ė In Arizona, we all know this climbing shrub very well.  Itís shocking pink blooms and sharp thorny vine make it unforgettable. It is super easy to grow and will add a tropical touch to any garden planter or porch railing.  If you live in a harsh climate you will have to protect this potted shrub from winters cold.  Place the pot next to a pillar and have it climb up creating a living explosion of color.

There are many climbers you can try like Sweet Pea, Jasmine, Black Eyed Susan, & Passion Flower.  Donít limit yourself and create lovely garden planters and vertical gardens.


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potted climbing vines, pottery, planters, pots, terracotta, garden, flowerpots





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Post Last Updated: 1/15/2019 8:39:39 AM 

Fall into Winter Containers



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Now your Fall garden planters around your home and yard should be looking pretty spent.  The mums may have started to fade and the grasses have been beaten by the wind.  We would like to make a few suggestions on how to transition into your winter containers.

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The main focus is to plant the containers with plants that will last thru the harsh winter temps and still look presentable and decorative.  In many cases, you only need to plant on center evergreen and then add a bunch of decorative items to make the whole container more dazzling and lively.

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Birch branches are always a big addition.  You can tie them together to create a cluster and stick in the center of the planter.  This gives the planter height, a stark white contrast to the deep green plant that is unique.  Berry Branches are also stunning when sticking out of an evergreen.  You can cut them off an existing bush or purchase them at the local craft store.  Holly is a wonderful addition to any winter planter.

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Pods and Seed Heads are very decorative.  They add a dried touch to the yard pots and can be sprayed with spray paint that matches your décor. Red, Gold & Greens look lovely for the holidays while the natural earth tones will last into the new year and still look lovely.

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Conifers in all varieties are the very best.  Cedar, spruce, and boxwoods are the perfect addition to any winter container because they can handle the harsh weather and fill your planter with lots of earthy green color and texture.  Junipers, ornamental cabbage, and kale are large and work wonderfully planted around the outside of your pottery.

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Now that we have given you a few suggestions for turning the Fall planters into Winter planters around your yard, patio or porch we think it is time to try thinking outside the box.  Look around your yard or your neighborís yard and see the different types of plants, shrubs, berries, and branches that are growing.  Try adding them into your design and create a planter that will last for many months to come.


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fall containers, winter garden pottery ideas, planter ideas for winter, fall and winter pots, planters, pottery



By
Post Last Updated: 1/2/2019 2:10:29 PM 



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