Where has all the terracotta gone?

Discussion in 'Cacti and Succulents' started by Chester, Mar 7, 2009.

  1. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    What's going on with terracotta? Over the past few years, the wide range of styles that used to be available has diminished to one bog-standard style. You know the one, it's the cheapest one on the shelf, and ranges in size from 1 inch up to about 20 or so. I used to be able to get some funky terracotta pots here and there. Mind you I've paid quite a bit for some of those charmers, but hey, my green friends are worth it. It's especially annoying when it comes to succulents. Most of mine want a wide flat terracotta pot (I know, I know use a bulb pot, but they are too shallow), and those are just about impossible to find. Or are they? Does anyone in the Victoria/Vancouver area have a lead on where I can score me some good stuff? Are you listening Home Depot? Hey Rona pay attention! Focus people! Yes, I have gone to my local garden centres. Even I've gotta draw the line at that schlock. Well thanks for listening. I think I just needed a good rant. I hope you'll all still respect me in the morning...
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i agree chester! it's not only the terra cotta either - used to be that you could get some very interesting glazed pieces, too.

    for those, i now go to places like ebay to find the 'different' types i like - figural, pictoral, animals, etc.
     
  3. Bambi

    Bambi Active Member

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    Try second hand stores. I've found all kinds of neat ones doing this, including a big terracotta chicken planter! I love thrift shopping though, and I visit the stores almost every week, so it all depends on if you enjoy the hunt or not.

    Ebay is a good alternative.
     
  4. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    I know what you're saying, but the thrift stores in Victoria are well picked over believe you me. I know cuz I go. Not every week mind you, but I go. Guess what I see? Those bog standard terracotta looking dreadful with a not-cheap-enough sticker on it. When they are only a buck or so new, I resent paying a buck or so when they look like that. I think my rant is carrying over into today. Could it be that half pound of chocolate? But I digress...A terracotta chicken you say? Cool.
     
  5. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    i hadn't thought about thrift stores! good idea! none of the thrift places near me are open at a time when i can go, so unless i have a day off of work, that is out for me :(

    another thing might be freecycle...i've gotten a fair amount of supplies (various planters, soil, tools, etc) and even some plants through that.

    i don't know if there are groups in canada or australia though. you could check it though: freecycle.org and then look for your city to join that group.
     
  6. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Alrighty, I shall check that out.
     
  7. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    What exactly are you looking for, for those of us who are not so familiar with terracotta? What's the difference between a "wide flat" and a "bulb" pot? Some pictures would be helpful. I've seen some shallow ones but I'm not sure they're the ones you're after.
     
  8. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I don't know if you have road side recycling (we have it once a year) I picked up a whole pile of all different terracota pots bowls etc. We have not had a problem getting them down here glazed stuff either. Probably because we get lots of Asian imports.

    Liz
     
  10. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    most of what we see in the stores now are the basic unglazed clay pots - round only and they range in diameter from 1 inch to 14 inches (if you're lucky and find a place that stocks sizes that large). none of the square, oval or rectangular types and none with varying depths.

    that's the problem with the 'big-box' stores...someone at corporate decides what you want. rather than having those at the individual stores doing the ordering and basing that ordering on feedback from the customers, all the stores are forced to carry the same things...

    it's the main reason i HATE the big-box places and, most especially, walmart.

    i want to choose and i can't do that when there's no variety to what's being offered. :(

    the small local chain that i used to go to all the time carried a nice variety of planters...they went out of business a few years ago, though. (another reason to hate the big-box places).

    i've found ONE place; which is 23 miles from me, that carries clay pots in unusual sizes and shapes - and their prices are good too, so making the trip a couple times a year can be well worth it. there are a couple garden places that are closer to me that have some bit of selection - way over-priced so i don't bother purchasing...

    liz, i've been known to drive around on 'trash night' to see if anyone has put out anything worth salvaging...and LOL!! i've been known to pick from my neighbors before they've even brought their trash down to the curb!! they're not true gardeners...they buy planters every year and chuck them once the season is done...lol, i've gotten half a dozen hanging planters for nothing more than walking across the driveway...

    haney DOES have some of the odd sizes chester and i are talking about (and the 'usual' stuff, too)...their site is a bit convoluted with the way it's set up though...multiple clicks to get to a page to see what's offered and 3 clicks and then a forced download to see terms & conditions?? even if they ship to the us, i doubt i'll buy from them. shame, looks like they have some nice stuff...
     
  11. togata57

    togata57 Contributor 10 Years

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    I have found many excellent pots at thrift stores, including a couple of great orchid pots in use right now.

    Back in the days before Columbus instituted the use of the huge enormous trash cans (with wheels), I used to be a regular "trash-picker". As we all know, the variety and quantity of stuff thrown out is incredible. However, the big cans prevent one from seeing a promising vista of objects. In one suburban community here, city council has declared that stuff set out is property of the city: therefore, citizens are lawbreakers by picking up discarded items. One man, who had been in the habit of collecting and repairing kids' toys, bicycles, etc. and then giving them away, had to stop---either that or be arrested.

    And, in other trash news, the city of Columbus has decided to end yard-waste pickups. We may load up our own and tote it to a facility...the nearest is at least a half-hour's drive away. Yeah, right! How many objections can be raised against this benighted idea? Much is made of being a "GREEN" city and all like that...how much more CO2 and other effluvia are going to be spewed into the atmosphere by 100s of cars driving to freaking GROVEPORT as opposed to ONE recycling truck? How many homeowners own a vehicle adequate to haul bags of leaves, branches, etc.? Christmas trees? Guess what'll happen: everybody's gonna just cram their yard waste into the aforementioned big cans...the city will have to pay more in landfill fees because of the huge increase in trash volume...so where is the big budget saving then?--- All this good potential mulch and compost will go for naught amongst the plastic bags. "Waste", indeed and truly.

    Well, Chester---one good rant deserves another! Good luck in your terracotta quest. Think I'll stop by my favorite thrift shop before I go in to work. Excelsior!
     
  12. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Well I've taken a quick look at Haney Pottery. First page was 'bog standard', so I wasn't hopeful. There are a few other styles that no one (to my knowledge) carries in Victoria anymore, so it was nice to see they are still available somewhere. Thanks for the tip, although to be honest, if I'm going to order terracotta, which is kind of like ordering, say cotton balls (why should you have to?), I'd want to order something way more eclectic than that. Terracotta that basic should still be available and yet isn't. Got to wondering why is all...but thanks for the ideas, tips and just listening I guess.
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    We have several rubbish bins. A green waste (I choose to compost my own) ANother big one for recycle and the normal rubbish which is smaller. Then we have our annual big rubbish pick up that is also sorted into metal etc. It is against the law to do scrounging but it does not stop us :)))). The ex used to say I went out with stuff and came home with more. Why pay for good chicken wire when some one has carefully roled it and stood it there for the taking or that nice old chair carefully displayed atop a heap.

    Liz
     
  14. Junglekeeper

    Junglekeeper Esteemed Contributor 10 Years

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    Chester,

    I've not noticed before but Southlands Nursery (in Vancouver) has a significant inventory of plain and fancy terracotta from various manufacturers including:Hope you'll find something to your liking.
     
  15. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    This is stretching it a tad, but, what do you do with an old pair of leather shoes? Use them for pots! At some point they will compost too! Cacti and herbs have a new home! OK so I'm nuts, but if you won't wear them anymore and they are not even good enough for the sally anne, then by all means garden in them, literally!
     
  16. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Thank you so much for the tip. I've not been there in years since we moved to Victoria, but I'm going to check it out when next we go over. Must be a Victoria problem then.

    I've seen the shoe/leather boot trick before, but to be honest I like it done best with outdoor succulents ie. hen and chicks, sedums etc. My Haemanthus needs supremo drainage...could take my drill to the soles I suppose.
     
  17. frauleinlayla

    frauleinlayla Active Member

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    For those of you who don't mind spending a little extra on handmade, www.etsy.com sometimes has pretty awesome stuff! Most of them are just standard planters that are beautifully handpainted or decorated, but sometimes I see completely handmade pots (saw a strawberry planter the other day!).

    Etsy also has a custom option where you can put up a request for something made specifically to your wishes, and then people reply and tell you what they could make for you, and you choose to accept whatever offers you think sound good (or none, if you don't like them, so no pressure!).

    I love Etsy.... haven't bought terracotta there yet, but a ton of other stuff! I love it! =) My only bad experience was from a plant seller, but that shop fortunately closed down.
     
  18. Bambi

    Bambi Active Member

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    I must have great luck, because today I found a super cute terracotta cat planter at the thrifts! I have a little terracotta zoo going on.

    I can totally sympathize with city thrift shops being picked over, but I still manage to find stuff when I'm out of town. Don't give up! Sometimes a little digging finds you some cool stuff.

    Other than that, I love the look of succulents in sea shells! They complement each other well.
     
  19. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Well I spoke too soon. Went to one of my locals, and found a fair (never great mind you) selection of terracotta. Was really after a shallow bowlish-type for my Haemanthus. Haven't seen terracotta like that in 5 years. Let me see, when was the last downturn in economy anyway? I'm thinking that retailers (at least in these parts) are going back to the more-affordable terracotta. Yahoo! Thanks all.
     

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