Touch of man-made beauty

For me, Nature is king (queen?) in the garden. I'm not talking about a "natural" look to the garden, as if you've stepped off a hiking trail somewhere, or discovered a hidden glade or meadow. I'm talking about the things in the garden: I want them to be provided primarily by Nature: plants of course, but also stones, rocks, boulders, tree stumps, logs -- essentially plants, stone, and wood. At the same time, I think there is definitely a place for man-made objects and materials in the garden too: glass, metal, fabrics, concrete, and ceramics.


One of the most important uses of ceramics is in glazed pottery. I think a nice, colorful pot can do so much when used in the right way in the garden, and to allow gardening where there is no soil (like on a deck). I really love a big, heavy, beautiful ceramic pot, and recently I received what is probably the most beautiful pot in my collection.

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I mainly like pots with colors that are "earth tones", and this one is mainly brownish-green, or greenish-tan -- something like that -- "goldenrod" maybe?


It's so hard for me to tell what the overall color is, since there are blue-green (how about "aquamarine"?) splotches all over the place too:


Although these look great from some distance away, up close they become fascinating:



The crystalline pattern is really incredible! I love the way it looks like frost, and I'm really curious what process was used to create this effect.


The dark edges of the splotches are perfect too, and I suppose that the chemicals that produced the "frost" pushed the existing glaze color along in front of it as it expanded, creating a dark "shoreline". I could be completely wrong.


One side of the pot has very small sploches, and they get more dense as you move around the pot, until there is almost no "goldenrod" showing at all.


The problems with a really beautiful pot like this are: 1) finding an appropriate plant that doesn't overshadow the pot, and 2) putting it someplace very visible.

I'm thinking a bamboo with large, dark-green leaves would look great in this.  As for location, it will have to end up on the deck or patio somewhere for sure...


It's probably too large to put in the middle of the small table on my deck, but in that location I could sit and stare at it in comfort for as long as I wanted.

Wherever it ends up, I'm glad to have this incredible man-made object as part of my garden!

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Alan @ It's not work, It's gardening!  – (May 26, 2011 at 9:10 AM)  

I forgot to mention that I also love the shape of this pot. Not ideal for bamboo because it gets slightly smaller at the top, but a nice, clean, simple shape.

Gerhard Bock  – (May 26, 2011 at 9:45 AM)  

Alan, I love that pot, too. A real find!

I think crystalline pottery is stunning. Check out this guy's work: http://www.handspiral.com/blog.htm. No large garden containers, unfortunately, but they'd be too expensive anyway.

Gerhard

:: Bamboo and More ::

Julia@PolkaDotGaloshes  – (May 26, 2011 at 10:12 AM)  

Alan, can I just say how much I am enjoying your blog. Not only for the great info but the amazing AMAZING photography. Your pics are truly captivating. I love the crystal glaze on this pot...beauty really is in the details =)

Owen  – (May 26, 2011 at 5:55 PM)  

The glaze contains large crystals that melt, possibly undergo some chemical changes, and restructure themselves into fun licheny shapes that everyone can enjoy :)

Anne McCormack  – (May 26, 2011 at 7:34 PM)  

It does look like lichen! Pots are really important in the garden and this one is outstanding.

The Sage Butterfly  – (May 27, 2011 at 9:16 AM)  

Beautiful! The intricacies of that design are amazing and will be an amazing addition to your garden.

LisaJennings  – (May 27, 2011 at 8:19 PM)  

What an interesting glaze pattern! That's something I've never seen before, especially on a garden pot. What a great addition, and I think the bamboo sounds like a stunning paring.

Pauline  – (May 27, 2011 at 11:54 PM)  

Your pot is truly beautiful, the pattern is so like lichen. Could the pot be salt glazed do you think, where salt is thrown into the kiln to react with the glaze? I would leave it empty, put it on a plinth, use it as a focal point and enjoy!

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