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A Beautiful Pot for a Beautiful Plant

When winter's bare landscape turns my eye to houseplants, I want to see them properly shown off by beautiful pots. Not plastic, and not even terra cotta: the rest of the world seems to consider that orange to be some kind of neutral, but I want to see colors I like. When I buy mums for my front steps in fall, too, I want showpieces to put them in.

Spring brings (as if I didn't have enough to do) the best selection in pots. In Wilton, NH, on Route 101, The House by the Side of the Road buys from 192 suppliers. Down the road into Milford, in a warehouse-like building, the Agway fills almost a whole wall with pots. Mahoney's in Wayland. At places like these I've found a variety of simple but attractive shapes and glazes.

The shop at the Garden in the Woods is proud of its larger pieces, for container gardening outdoors. Some there may be a little more artistic than most garden-center pots. But it's hard to find really creative, unusual works — fine pottery.

Local potters I asked said they don't usually make containers for plants, with drainage holes, because they don't sell. Cache-pots, yes, for hiding a plain pot inside; many fine pots can be used that way; at East Wind Pottery in Temple, NH, Janet Duchesneau even makes them specifically in standard nursery sizes. One potter said she plants in her pots that crack when fired; some potters sell "seconds" like that at their studios. Or if I like the work of a local potter, I can probably special-order a pot with a drainage hole.

When I called, Alene Sirott-Cope, of Hollis, NH, did have one, which she calls "Palm Pot," for sale at the Sharon Art Center Store in Peterboro. And the shop at Worcester Center for Crafts had several, by two different artists. Their annual pottery show, from the last weekend in April to the first in May, might have more. I've also had good luck at the annual fair of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, held at Sunapee on the second week in August (more info: 603-224-3375.)

At Fire Your Desire, on Route 119 in Pepperell, I could paint glaze on a pre-made pot. Or I could take a pottery class — at the Sharon Art Center School, or at the Worcester Center for Crafts — and get creative with the shape, too.

© Copyright 2004 Catherine Holmes Clark

Published in the six Nashoba Publications papers on Friday, 14 May 2004

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The photo above is "Palm Pot" by Alene Sirott-Cope.

For more information about places mentioned above:

Other sources (If you know a potter, or a shop, selling beautiful flowerpots, email me, <> — and I'll put the information here, along with your name as recommender.)