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Pottery and Statuary

how to select pots for container gardens

​Choosing containers isn’t too difficult as long as you avoid two common mistakes. First, make sure that your container has drainage holes or that it is capable of having holes punched or drilled into it. Drainage is essential and you might as well not bother planting in a container without holes unless you are doing a miniature water garden (that is an option, though!) Many pots and containers can have holes put in, however, and a metal punch or masonry bit for your drill will usually do the trick. Caution: do not try this on valuable antiques unless you are prepared to bust them!

Secondly, select the correct size container. We've noticed a tendency to pick containers that are too small, generally.  If you are planting a shrub or tree into a decorative container, don’t select the same size that the plant came in unless you want to pretend you are a nurseryperson and water the thing every day of your life. Also, the plant will eventually want to outgrow a small container and can become weakened and stunted by remaining in it. Trees and shrubs should go into larger containers, at least 6-8 inches or more in diameter and depth compared to the ones they come in. This will allow the roots to grow and keep the watering chores down. On the flip side, a really small plant, potted into a very large container, can run the risk of being drowned by the pot’s water-holding capacity. Certain plants like Christmas/holiday cactus, aloe, and begonias actually prefer to be a bit crowded into their pot.

​   When selecting pots based on style, the questions to ask yourself are: Where is this going? Does it go well with the style of the house and garden? Do the colors go well with the color of the house? Does it go well with the plants I want to put in it? Sometimes, it helps to select the pots first to make sure they go with the house, patio, or deck and then decide what plants suit the pot.
In the garden center, Homewood carries a wide selection of pottery for container gardens of all styles and sizes. Spring, Fall, and during the Holidays are the best times to find plenty of pottery in stock. We also carry garden statuary, trellises, fountains, and birdbaths.

Potting services are available in the Greenhouse! Whether it's a prized houseplant that needs repotting or a favorite pot just begging for a pretty new plant, we can pot it up for you! Or just walk in knowing that you need a fantastic plant or container garden in that certain spot and we'll help you put the whole thing together.

types of pots: pros and cons

​     Another thing to keep in mind is the type of pot to select. If you are a practical sort, knowing that plastic and glazed containers hold water longer than porous materials such as terra cotta will help you decide which one is best for you based on your watering habits. 

If the container is meant to go outside year round through all seasons, then get the best quality possible and ask if the container is frost-proof. Not all containers are created alike and some pots can over winter whereas others will experience damage to either the glaze or the terra cotta itself.

Weight is another consideration since nobody's sacroiliac gets better with age or repetitive stress. If you plan on moving containers around with the change of seasons, it's something to consider. A small dolly is an excellent aid for this as are pot-lifter devices if you decide you prefer heavier pots for other reasons.
 
Terra cotta is beautiful, breathable, and ages attractively until the day it decides to break down, usually after 3 or more winters. It’s a good idea to take them in during winter if you want to keep them a long time.
Glazed pottery holds water far longer than terra cotta and offers many colors to choose from. It is fairly heavy and, barring physical trauma, quite durable. Not all glazes are freeze-proof so make sure you know if they are or, to be on the safe side, use the pot for seasonal plants and bring it in to storage in the winter. For containers that remain outdoors in winter, prop them up on pot feet to facilitate drainage and reduce the effects of freeze-and-thaw cycles.
Concrete and cast iron are some of the most durable materials you will find, and usually the most expensive. They are also very heavy. Cast iron holds water well but can get hot in full sun with the heat, and it does not breathe at all so more care may be required with watering. 
Fiberglass is durable and lightweight and can be made to simulate other materials. You’ll find it usually in the middle of the price range.
Resin-foam containers have the advantage of being lightweight but will age in a few seasons. Get the ones that are the same color all the way through so you won’t notice as much if they get chipped or a chunk taken out of them.
Finally, there’s plastic. Despite the yuck-factor, plastic can be a very practical not to mention cheap! Thinner plastic pots will age faster than thicker ones, and it helps to select brands that are labeled UV resistant. Nevertheless, plastic still loses out against other materials once the Beauty Contest starts.