Our pottery inventory has a bigger than ever selection for 2017. We have brought in pots from both China (lovely rustics) and Vietnam (modern as well as rustic). Both are our freeze proof pottery intended for the winter here, but also beautiful when used indoors. When we unload there are many pallets of pots from Vietnam, though the Chinese just stack the pots individually into the containers. Sort of a contest for who can put the most pots in a defined space. Actually, since the pots are heavy, my order is sometimes simply as much as I can purchase within the weight limit.
That should give you a hint that unloading and moving these pots is hard work. My staff are wonderful and do the lion’s share of the work. We have even more pots than what you see, since in many cases duplicates are stored for later in the season when display space allows us to bring them out. It’s pretty amazing how many are in stock right now. Once the snow clears we will finish storing them away and organizing the display. Our upper parking lot is still strewn with partial pallets and various odds and ends of our pottery.
One of my personal favorites in this batch is the swirl pot. The fact we’ve never had one of this design previously is likely influential in my judgment. It’s new and exciting. I like it for several reasons: it is tall enough to place in a garden or take a leading role on a patio or deck. A leading role means it is big enough to anchor a corner or a grouping. Another reason is that the glaze is rustic and highly decorative with multicolored earth tones. And a final perhaps main reason is that I really like the clean lines of the swirl pattern.
I find that if the pottery inventory is not broad, it can be hard to find just the right containers for the customers I assist and for the gardens I design. If a small pottery inventory is not good enough for me, don’t let it be good enough for you. Pots last a lifetime, so choose wisely.
The most common mistake is to choose pots that are too small or out of scale for the space. It is quite rare that you can buy too big. Even our largest pots can be placed in attractive ways that blend with the landscape meaningfully. Pots tend to look bigger sitting in a sales area than when placed in a more open garden or patio setting. The question is not “is it too big?” The question is “is it big enough?” After 20 years of placing thousands of pots in gardens, that’s my advice. The price difference is not that great, so get one that is big enough to do the job. Remember, you’ll own this for decades.
Finally, let me point out that these pots are also dramatic when used indoors. They can make a great container for the kids’ shoes by the door, a container for a hose or an expandable hose (the latter can be a fairly small pot), a pot for a tree or plant indoors, or simply used as an art piece indoors or out. Find your own use. That’s not a comprehensive list, just enough to get you thinking. I have had my Southwest Christmas tree, an agave bloom all lit and decorated, in a pot and have kept it for years. There are few limits if you are creative. One customer had us deliver a number of pots (there is a delivery fee…we suggest moving your own except for giant ones) and I was surprised when one over 3′ tall was placed on the kitchen counter. Yes, it was a large kitchen, and even more surprising, and pleasantly so, was how amazing it looked there. I never ask people if they need a large pot for the kitchen counter, but this customer had an artistic eye and it was on target.
So we’ll see you in spring with the best selection ever when we open up. If you want to try to grab a pot for Christmas to put under the tree, bring your SUV and we’ll help you if the weather allows. They are outside in the snow and not easy to browse. It will be easier come spring, but we will help this winter if we reasonably can with larger purchases. If you’re looking for a little pot and have trouble making up your mind, remember all sales on pottery are final and you will want to come in spring when you have time and comfort to look at your leisure. Our pottery inventory will make you happy, and your garden rejoice.