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Monday, March 26, 2012

Ceramic Pots Aren't All They're Cracked Up To Be

It seems like that at the end of every winter I have broken planting containers to deal with. I like natural materials so I like glazed clay. And using glazed clay pots presents some challenges.

It's not that my pots have gotten smucked by extreme temperature swings nor has freezing moisture done its weathering job. It's the cats! At the end of the season, I often place several small pots on the edge of the front porch (which is pretty much anywhere on the porch given that it's only 4 feet deep and there's ten tons of crap on it already) and every year several of our chubby mogs go plowing through the neat lineup on the way to knocking something else over so they can nap on the spot that they shouldn't. Of course, it's always my favorite pots that get broken. You'd think I'd learn by now not to put them where they get bulldozed off the porch or front steps, but being a creature of habit, I inevitably leave them in an area that is convenient for me. Apparently, however, it's inconvenient for the cats. They're creatures of habit too, and like their established paths uninterrupted with things such as expensive ceramic pots.

A slope with newly installed pot fragments.
As one who is resigned to a cracked pot destiny, I have decided to make the most of it by, you guessed it, re-purposing these clay fragments elsewhere in the garden. Yes folks, they get morphed into a design element. I simply bury them in the slope below the bathtubs and plant something in them. It's sort of Mesopotamian looking, after the earthquake or during an anthropological dig.

In addition to looking earthy decorative, these broken pot halves act as small terraces on a relatively unstable hillside. If the sides of the pot pieces don't adequately sweep around, place some decorative rock along where fired clay meets soil to help hold the pots in place and keep the soil from eroding down the hill. The end result makes the whole thing look like you've broken your $30 pots on purpose just for this project.

Of course, it's critical you plant something in these areas right away because chances are you will have fury supervisors watching you build them new places to poop. Cats are good at re-purposing too.

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