winter’s havoc

It is not only the plants that have been beaten up by the freeze, thaw, freeze…

black hand

You probably cannot even tell that this was once a black ceramic hand rising from the creeping jenny. I quite liked the effect this noirish touch had on the bed, but failed to bring it in for the winter. I will now need to look elsewhere for something to provide a humorous touch.

flaking pot

It has taken several years for this terra cotta pot to reach this level of disintegration, with a few new shards flaking off after each freeze. I brought most of the clay pots onto the porch, where they still experience the cold, but they don’t get saturated with water that then expands and contracts to disasterous effect. This pot, tho, had literally grown into the lower level of the deck. If you look carefully at the base, you can see the Sedum dasyphyllum which migrates from pot to pot, and has even taken up residence in the moss of the porch.

tufa pot

Now here is a pot that can stand up to anything the weather wants to throw at us. Several years ago, I followed the directions in a magazine to create a hypertufa planter. It was a messy process, but I think I will have to hype myself up for another session and make a lot of these. The patina of moss and lichen adds interest, but even in the raw, brand-new state, they are quite attractive. When I get around to it, preferably mid summer when getting wet and muddy is rather pleasant, I will share photos of the process and the formula for the mix.

9 thoughts on “winter’s havoc

  1. Sorry about the demise of your black hand – just be sure to keep your green thumb!

    Your hypertufa palnter looks nice and big: I once made a hypertufa planter in a class and it really is perfect for those alpine and sedum plantings, but could be a bit bigger. I would welcome a post on making them!

  2. Loree~I think it was Berry Botanical Garden where they had a huge collection of Hypertufa planters, all shapes and sizes. It was smashing.

    Jane~It is about 2’x3.5′. Like most projects, I would improve on it in the next go-round, so maybe I can save a few others the first timer mistakes, like not providing for enough drainage.

  3. I’ve done the hypertufa thing and the cement leaf thing too and it is a lot of fun and rewarding too. I love the patina on yours. Maybe you can make a cement hand that will withstand the freezes/thaws.

  4. I bought some concrete planters a couple years ago–gorgeous but ridiculously heavy. If only they’ve used a lightweight aggregate like hypertufa does! If it’s any consolation, even in my warm area, I have lots of clay pots doing that self-destruct routine, though they’re doing it because they’re the low-fire earthenware that’s only a couple steps above mud.

  5. Grace~Frances over at Fairegarden did a post on making cement balls using beach balls as molds. I think that will be my replacement.

    James~The weight can be an asset if they are anywhere where they might get stolen…guess you just have to be sure to put them where you want them in the first place. “a couple steps above mud”…that’s rich!

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