Bargain Pots!

One thing I've learned about gardening is that you can never have too many containers to plant in. The container type that I plant in the most is ceramic or clay pots. Glazed ceramic pots are almost a sub-obsession of my gardening obsession, and only their relatively high cost has saved me from having hundreds of them.

If you live somewhere with cold winters, this is a great time of year to keep an eye out for sales and clearance items. I'll use this opportunity to stock up on supplies or find some bargain pots -- that's exactly what I did today.


I wasn't intending on buying anything today, as I was just going to pick up a load of soil for a project I'll tell you about tomorrow. On the way I stopped off at another garden center (there are three of them located on the same road, all within 1/2 mile of each other) to see if they had any good bargains. Although I was initially just looking for bamboo (alas, no bamboo sales, and slim pickings too) but I walked around the perennial greenhouse just to see if anything caught me eye. Back in the corner I noticed a lot of their pots on the floor, and they were all marked with sales prices!

I'm not going to say too much about each of these, because they're just pots. They don't have any special features and describing them in detail would bore both you and me. So I'll show you the pot's shape, and a closeup of its glaze.

I will say that I'm glad they make pots in so many different shapes and styles. Some pots I wouldn't use in my garden even if they were given to me, but others are almost "love at first sight". It's hard for me to describe what I like -- but I know it when I see it. I definitely like simple pots with little decoration. This one is about as ornate as I'll go:

It's quite heavy, and doesn't have a glossy glaze:

I'm not sure what that finish is called, but it's nice, and will be a nice contrast to most of my other pots.

When choosing pots, it's important to "thump" them to hear what they sound like. If they ring, then they're fine. If a pot "thunks" when you tap it, that means that the pot has a crack in it. This beauty caught my eye, but failed the thump test:

After looking it over a bit more, I realized that it wasn't broken, but it just had a couple of inherent flaws:

It felt sturdy enough so I took a chance and bought it. At half price it's too good a deal to pass up, and as long as I empty the pot each winter so the soil doesn't freeze, this one should be fine for several years at least.

It's really beautiful, has a nice shape, and is quite large (but still manageable - big pots can be heavy).

The last pot I got today is the same as one I purchased earlier this year. I thought it was a decent price when I bought it before, but today it was marked down to only $10 so I couldn't resist.

This is a good shape for a bamboo pot, as the outward sloping sides will allow the plant to pull out no matter how many rhizomes circle around the interior.

I try to avoid getting green pots, as I like having pots that contrast with the colors of the plants that will be growing in them. The two green-toned ones I bought today have enough different shades of green in them that they won't be a problem.

Then again, who's to say that I have to put green-leaved plants in them anyway?

So if you live in an area that has cold winters, head out to your local garden centers, nurseries, or big-box stores -- anywhere that sells garden supplies -- and see what sort of end-of-season bargains you can find.

Just remember: you can never have too many pots!

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