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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Please Verify I Am Not The Only One!

In my neighborhood, in my family, in my circle of friends and co-workers, I think I am the only one. Perhaps, hopefully, if I post about it, I'll find out that I am not the only one, after all.

Yes, I feel confident I am not alone in the garden blogging community in having more clay pots than one could ever use. And I can't seem to turn down an opportunity to get more old clay pots from others.

A few weekends ago, I laid claim to another stockpile of clay pots from my former neighbor, who was cleaning out his shed, preparing to move. I bought the whole lot of them without so much as counting them or seeing what assorted sizes were there. I just loaded them up and brought them home.


I don't generally buy new clay pots. I prefer old clay pots, the kind that have seen a few seasons and a few plants. Among the pots I got a few weeks ago, a few had writing on the side, identifying the plants that once grew in them.
I like that. It's a link to another gardener.

Even if I break a clay pot, and I've broken more than I'll admit, I keep the pieces to put in the bottoms of other pots.

I do have a lot of plastic pots, acquired with each new plant I buy. I don't feel the same way about these plastic pots as I do the clay pots. I usually put them in the recycle bin right away if they are the right kind of plastic. The rest of the assorted plastic pots are on a shelf and in a big box, ready to be used to pot up a cutting or two, or start some small bulbs in the spring.

And I have several of the light weight faux finish pots, which are becoming more popular, and cheaper, every year. I'll admit they are easy to work with, especially the big ones, and are easy to move around and usually look pretty nice.

But I still like clay pots the best.

How about you?

(Oh, and while you are telling me that I'm not the only one who has a lot of clay pots, why don't you tell me how many garden hoes you have? I can't seem to find anyone else with "more than a few" hoes!)

28 comments:

jodi said...

Clay pots RULE, Carol! I do buy some but I also find that they multiply magically in the greenhouse. Terra cotta is just so warm and inviting--my second favourite are those deep-blue-glazed pottery pots. The glaze is so blue that I want to fall into it.
Sadly, I have only two hoes--my favourite being a hand-held version of the Korean Ho-mi digger. I must get it in the fulllength size...a trip to Lee Valley is needed!

Carol said...

Jodi... a "trip" to Lee Valley? You mean you can go there in person? I am green with envy. Tell them I said Hi. I have so many items from their catalog! And, I almost forgot, thanks for the validation on the clay pots. You can go to Lee Valley in person?

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

Clay pots, who could ever have enough???

David in Greensboro NC said...

Oh yeah, I stockpile clay pots. I was walking around my neighborhood a few weeks ago and found a whole stack of them on somebody's trash pile! Fearful that someone like me would get them before I could return with the car, I lugged them all home in my arms, much to my neighbors' amusement.

Now the hoe thing...one hoe. That's it.

Leslie said...

I agree...there's no such thing as too many clay pots. It makes it so much easier to decide to move a plant up to a larger pot and already have a good size...so I'm not tempted to move it up to too big a size! Of course the hard thing is not to think they should all be filled all the time. Anyway...I like the way stacks of empty clay pots look!

Gina said...

I only have one hoe but I did buy a few clay pots from my neighbors garage sale a few weeks ago and I felt like I had discovered gold.

Kylee said...

Clay pots abound here, too, Carol! Most of them are up in the attic above the garage, stacked on shelves my husband put up there just for them. He does NOT understand why I 'need' so many. I don't even bother to try explaining anymore!

And ... uh ... Carol? You're not going to be happy with my next blog post, which I'm working on right now and will publish later this evening with tomorrow's date. I won't say why, but it will jump right out at you, I promise! Try not to judge me too harshly, okay? ;-)

vonlafin said...

Oh yes, I have tons of clay pots. Most of them just sit there because they are to small to plant anything in, but they are so cute!
Only about 5 or 6 hoes, but always on the lookout for new ones.

Earth Girl said...

I'm with you on the clay pots, Carol, but not the hoes. Although since I started a veggie garden this year, I'm using my hoe more. Yes, only one hoe.

LostRoses said...

I like clay pots a lot, Carol, but I must admit my head has been turned by the new lightweight faux ones that look like clay pots, or Grecian urns, or Tuscan or Mexican designs, not to mention Victorian. And I can lift them.

I remember reading an article in Fine Gardening years ago where a woman had clay pots that were shaped like square baking pans with shallow sides. The woman got them from some defunct greenhouse from way back when. Apparently they grew seedlings in them but oh I coveted them. Do you have any of those?

Barbara said...

Well, not only clay pots, four hoes and about a dozen of garden scissors and watering cans....there are so many other garden "tools" to which a garden lover gets special connections with...!!
Greetings from Switzerland.
Barbara

Me said...

I used to have lots of pots but no more...

But I agree the words and the connection to the other gardener are perfect.

No hoes here. :(

eleanor said...

Carol, your dad used to save clay pots up in the attic like a squirrel hords nuts. So you come by your addiction honestly. I really don't know if there are any more up there as I haven't been in the attic for years. If they're there, they are mixed up with your sister's husband's collection of bikes.

Colleen said...

I am so totally with you, Carol! I have way more clay pots than I can use. They're stacked in the garden shed, on the potting bench, some are in the basement....

I am always shocked when people throw them away. Are they insane????? My husband knows now to just pull over if we spot any on the curb on garbage day :-)

I only have two hoes, and of the two, I only use one. Your blog has opened up a whole world of hoes that I never knew existed (geez, that didn't sound right....)

Nicole said...

I also love clay pots. Don't have too many where I live, as its a coral island, with no clay! So these actually cost a premium here (can you imagine the shipping cost?) so the few I have are planted with rosemary, orchids and aloe. Love the old ones!
Alas only one hoe-its not very easy to hoe limestone! Whenever the palce needs "hoeing" I hire someone for the day ( or 2 )and they come with all their specialised stuff for here.

Mary said...

You are not the only one, Carol. Recently I read on a blog of someone who collects them - it might have been Lost Roses or KGMom.

We moved from DE to NC two years ago. To save packing space, I gave away 23 clays pots to neighbors. Now I only have about 7 of the oldest ones. I only have one hoe.

So you are not alone. My inventory will rise every year :o)

Blackswamp_Girl said...

Carol, I am guilty as charged... lots of old-fashioned clay pots, and I love them for everything from mint to cherry tomatoes! No hoes, though. My yard is a hoe-free zone, sorry!

P.S. to David in Greensboro: I hear you. I have lugged a large paned glass window in one arm while guiding my 90lb dog with the other arm just because I was afraid that "someone like me" would beat me back to it with the car! lol.

Dirty Fingernails said...

I love the clay pots. Mine break too easily.. I have to many accident prone helpers.. That don't watch where they are going..

Layanee said...

Clay rules but then I love all sorts of pots. Hoes? Two hoes but I have at least four or five pair of clippers and oodles of hand tools! You are 'The Queen' when it comes to hoes!

shirl said...

Hi there, Carol

After my initial misunderstanding I finally got sorted out with my nominations for the ‘Bloggers for Positive Global Change Award’ and you are in my nominations list. You will find details in my post of 25th July 2007.

Carol said...

Wow, I feel verified and validated regarding my clay pots! Thank you everyone.

Iowa Gardening Woman... apparently none of us think we can have enough clay pots.

David in Greensboro NC... I'll admit I've never taken pots out of the neighbor's trash, but I do accept clay pots from anyone who wants to get rid of them.

Leslie... I think we all like how stacks of clay pots look, it gives us comfort to have them, I guess.

Gina... Good clay pots are like gold to a gardener.

Kylee, I hope your attic floor doesn't collapse from the weight of all the clay pots. And I did visit your blog... for shame!

Vonlafin... You probably have more hoes than any other blogger that I know of (other than me).

Earth Girl... Yes, you do need a hoe for a vegetable garden!

Lost Roses... I have one clay shallow pan for seeds, but I haven't used it as I don't want to accidently break it!

Barbara... Thanks for your comment, all the way from Switzerland. I guess the love of clay pots and good gardening tools is truly universal.

Me... no more clay pots, no hoes? Are you okay?

Eleanor (Mom)... Ummm... I don't remember you ever going up into the attic, but it is nice to know I inherited my love of clay pots.

Colleen... Sounds like you've done a good job of training your husband! And yes, occasionally, conversations about hoes just don't come out quite right, especially if overheard by others.

Nicole... But at least you have some clay pots in your island paradise, otherwise, it wouldn't be paradise!

Mary... must have been tough to part with your old clay pots, but you are right, gardeners do tend to get a few more each year. I'd love to know who collects them.

Blackswamp_Girl... We have got to get you to try a hoe! (Now, that didn't come out quite right...)

Dirty Fingernails... I assume you keep the broken pieces, too.

Layanee... Me? The Queen of Hoes? Why, thank you!

Thanks again for the validation!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

Carol said...

Shirl, thanks for the nomination, I will check it out!

Carol at May Dreams Gardens

jodi said...

Ah, yes, Carol--we have a Lee Valley store in Halifax. I've given talks there the past two springs, and of course I promptly spend most of the fee on treasures in the store. Their quality, as you know, is amazing, and they have a truly no-hassle guarantee. There are about 8 or ten stores throughout Canada, with the main one in Ottawa. Don't know where there are stores in the US.

mss @ Zanthan Gardens said...

I find just the opposite is true; I don't have enough clay pots and I find it very difficult to find any second hand. I go to garage sales but all I ever find is cheap plastic. And clay pots are the first thing that any construction worker at my house seems to break.

I guess it's safe to say that I have very few clay pots but a lot of clay shards.

Chris said...

I don't have many clay pots, we seem to gather plastic ones that can't be recycled and even the garden centres don't want them back. Clay pots are a thing of beauty and when you find someone's else notes on the side of them its just perfect :-)

joann said...

I'm glad I am not the only Indiana gardner to be in love with my clay pots.One morning in early June as I was sitting on my back porch looking out over my garden (with a stack of pots sitting by the potting shed)An idea came to me. Make a bird bath out of them. I had been looking for a birdbath for some time and could not find anything I liked. So over the past 6 weeks or so I have created a birdbath that incorporates two of my favorite things, my garden and seashells. I placed one large clay pot upright in the center of my large garden and placed the same size pot upside down on top of it I secured them together by drving a large dowell through the drainage holes and into the ground. I then secured the largest saucer I could find to the top with adhesive caulk. Then I paced a smaller pot upside down in the center of the saucer that I had broken out the back. I then placed a small saucer upside down on the top of the small pot. I placed a small pump inside the back of the small pot ( where I had broken it out)and placed a tube from the pump through the small pot and saucer(I had to drill a hole through the saucer but this was quite easy). When the pump in on it makes a small fountain and the water drips off the sides of the small saucer into the large saucer. The birds and butterflys love it! I am now in the process of covering the outside of the base with small shells I have collected over the years. I intend to do the inside of the large saucer and the outside of the small pot and saucer this winter when I am missing being in my garden. Because I have used mostly items I already had the total cost of the project has been about $10.00. Several people have asked me if I could build them a birdbath too and have sent their friends to see it. My sister is also going to make her own but instead of using shells she is using pieces of broken china as a mosiac. Ther are so many options for decoration, spraypaint and stencils, or just leaving it natural and letting the terracotta weather.

Yolanda Elizabet said...

A gardener can NEVER have enough clay pots. I love those pots and are always on the look out for more. It drives the under-gardener crazy.

On the hoe front it is still zero hoes. Shocking, I know! ;-)

Carol said...

Jodi... I can certainly vouch for both the quality and the no-hassle guarantee of Lee Valley. I don't think they have retail stores in the United States, but they can sure open one in my town and I'd go there!

MSS... I guess the Austin gardeners are hoarding their clay pots!

Joann... Welcome, Indiana gardener. What a great idea on how to use some extra clay pots. I might put your comment up on a post so it won't be missed.

Yolanda Elizabet... I think it is pretty much fair to say that all gardeners love clay pots. And, you really must get a fine Dutch hoe. You'll love it!

Thanks all for the comments.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens