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Friday Favorite: Terracotta

January 14th, 2011

You may have noticed that I love terra-cotta. I’m not a big fan of plastic or foam pots, I don’t feel like they have the warmth that real terra-cotta does. There’s just something so classic about a terra-cotta pot spilling over with flowers. One of the things I also love about terra-cotta is the way it ages, with such grace. They never look old, they just look like they belong.


I’ve been collecting terra-cotta pots for quite a while, buying them here and there. My sister gets them for me at garage sales, people give them to me. I have teeny tiny ones only a few inches high and huge heavy one that I can barely lift, I have short ones, tall ones, thin ones, fat ones and even a few square ones. One of the benefits of terra-cotta is that they’re fairly inexpensive as well, much cheaper than glazed ceramic containers. I also like that I can find them made in the USA or in Italy, most of the glazed pots are from China.


One of the drawbacks of terra-cotta is that you have to overwinter them where they won’t be exposed to the harsh elements. I empty mine out in the fall, dry them, and stack them on shelves in the garage. A few plants are overwintered in them in the basement or garage and they do quite well this way. This pot of chives was overwintered in the garage and put out in the spring, it’s covered in a late spring snow so it’s safe from the hard freezing and thawing that it would be subject to if I left it out all winter.


My ultimate favorite terra-cotta item is a cloche and coming in second is a nice rhubarb forcing pot. I don’t own either and most likely never will, but one can dream! If I ever travel to England I’ll try to find a way to bring back a rhubarb forcing pot, HMM… wonder if that will fit in the overhead bin? I may look into having a local potter make me some cloches for the garden, they won’t be terra-cotta but perhaps a glazed ceramic or clay instead.

Do you have a favorite kind of container in the garden?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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