July 1, 2012

You Were Right

In February I posted about an expensive resin Umbrian pot I got from Pottery Barn that I thought would be just the thing to dress up a problem area along my front walk.

Did you say to yourself "ehhh, that's gonna be a Garden Oops.  Besides being pretentious, it just looks too big, it's a funny color, and it is wrong for that narrow front garden in front of a brick wall."

Did you say that?  Noooo, you said nice things in the comments section of that post. But you were thinking otherwise.

 You were right.

It's the first of the month, when Joene sponsors Garden Oops, or GOOPs We post about our mistakes.  You can go to her blog to read more.

This was a mistake.  First of all, the ridiculous cost.  Was the household financial controller completely asleep?  When I placed it in front of the brick wall fronting my house, I had immediate misgivings, financial and aesthetic.  Mainly financial.  Largely aesthetic.  Both.

It was too big.  It was too Tuscan looking for a strip of garden in front of a brick wall with black shutters. 

The fake resin composite immediately faded in the weak winter sunlight, and within three weeks the side facing outward was pink.  Not terra cotta.  Pink.

I rotated it, and the other side turned pink.

Not terra cotta.  Pink.

So. . .  I painted it a nice neutral taupe color that turned out to be mottled steely black.

Now I own a large black cooking cauldron that looks like chickens should be sacrificed in it on Sundays.

I put a begonia in it, but the poor thing looks frightened.

I went to Home Depot, bought a shiny plastic urn for $26 and put it in front of the brick wall along the front walk.  So much better.  So much cheaper.

You were right.  The original expensive urn had '"oops" written all over it.

You were all just too nice to say so.

24 comments:

  1. Too funny about the calderon. The pot you have now is nice. It looks good there. A shame that the other one changed color. Obviously, the company's testing department missed that problem.

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    1. Gardener on Sherlock, thanks, I agree the new (cheap) pot is nicer. It does seem like the resin material was defective.

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  2. I never thought I could laugh so hard at a story about a garden pot. I love your oopses!

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    1. Heather, if we can't laugh at our mistakes, why are we here? Glad you got a chuckle.

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  3. Rather than an oops (except for the expense) I think it was a disappointment to you. I am glad you figured out what makes you happy.

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    1. Lisa, yes, I really was disappointed. I make mock and try to laugh it off, but this was discouraging, and I'm feeling rather foolish about the expense.

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  4. Ha ha ha ha-thanks for a good laugh this morning! Painting the pot to resemble a cauldrom may not have been the best choice. I think I remember you saying your weren't a fan of bold foliage tropical plants but that pot would be perfect for a banana, elephant ears or a canna skirted by a few complimentary companions. And if that isn't an option you can always outfit it with one of those fog machines and have the coolest Halloween decoration in the neighborhood :).

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    1. Sue, yes! A Halloween decoration will be just the thing, it's the perfect use for this disaster of a pot. You are right I am not a big fan of big tropical foliage, although cannas have an elegance that I like. Hmmm....

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  5. Very funny, Laurrie, but ... ahem ... I didn't say nice things about the big pot but offered suggestions to balance it in its setting. I agree that the shiny plastic pot is a better focal point. Use your witchy-looking cauldron as focal point elsewhere in your gardens ... maybe filled with black foliage with an old pitchfork next to it. It could be the start of a whole new garden theme.
    Thanks, as always, for sharing another amusing GOOPs.

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    1. Joene, I recall some caution in your comments on the scale and balance of this pot! Picking up on your suggestion for black foliage (but not pitchforks or brooms. . . ) I am growing black petunias this year, and they really do have velvety black petals with a yellow eye, very rich but kind of ominous and witchy looking.

      Hmmm.... I could mass a bunch of black flowering petunias in this cauldron and it might be really interesting!

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    2. Correction --- I'm not growing black petunias, they are pansies. I know the difference but always get those two names mixed up. Pansies. Not petunias.

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    3. I still think the black cauldron could be afocal point for wicked plants ... maybe some deer and other creatures won't eat because of toxicity. Researching this could lead to some interesting findings.

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  6. I don't remember what I said but I think I loved the pot. I still do. It's all about placement, although your comment about the chickens cracked me up. :o) The begonia definitely looks terrified, which also made me laugh. How about filling it with a plant that would contrast well with the black color and roundness of the pot, such as an ornamental grass? It needs more height than the begonias can offer, unless they're on steroids. A strongly colored coleus would work well, too, without looking Halloweenish. I still like the pot. I think it has potential. :o)

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  7. Here's another idea: put a softly variegated dwarf abelia or weigela in the pot. The variegation will distract from the pot color, which will be enhanced by the soft black, and the form of the shrub will compliment the pot rather than emphasize it. Dwarf shrubs are excellent in wide pots, especially ones that tend to root where they touch, since the pot prevents them from doing that. Potential!!

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    1. Tammy, oooh, I like it. You are actually suggesting great ideas to dress this cauldron up, rather than hide it like I am trying to do by the side of the house. I really like your suggestions about more height and the mass that shrubs could add. I have a dwarf corylopsis I just bought. It's not variegated, but it would be a good size and arching shape (like the abelia) in this pot.

      I may salvage this thing for more than Halloween decorations after all : )

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    2. A shrub is a great idea! A friend of mine started growing Tiger Eye Sumac in a container after seeing it in Inta Krombolz's garden in PA. She bought the iron container from Inta. It's quite eye catching and you don't have to worry about it running anywhere.

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    3. Sue, Tiger Eye sumac would be dramatic in this pot. The cauldron really does cry out for something bold and interesting. I have been intrigued with this sumac since I first saw it but never thought of it in a large container.

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  8. I laughed at the idea of the sacrificial chickens! I do love the shape of the pot. I would paint it a beautiful color that you love and put it out in the garden somewhere, with or without plantings in it.

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    1. Deborah, that is another idea I have been toying with ... repainting it a better color. I had no idea the taupe color I painted was going to be black. But I surely can find another nicer color!

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  9. Well, I'm not sure I was thinking those negative thoughts you mentioned, though I probably would have thought to myself "no way would I buy a big expensive pot like this from Pottery Barn." But I surely wouldn't have expected it to turn that shade of pink! Too bad you couldn't return it...though I don't suppose Pottery Barn sells chicken cauldrons:) I do like your Home Depot urn--and I mean that sincerely.

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    1. Rose, the smaller, shinier, redder plastic urn from Home Depot was such an improvemnt. I'm glad you agree!

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  10. Laurrie, the sound you hear is my snorting and laughing as I read your confessions of a bad-pot purchaser. Commenting previously, I wanted it to moss up, and you predicted it wouldn't. Now, I want it placed (empty) in the middle of a field of weeds or grasses or wildflowers so it looks both intentional and surprising.

    Do not let it retain a place of prominence. Do not put any plant in it.

    Now, 'scuse me while I re-read you and slap my thigh. Thanks for the good-for-the-soul laughter.

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    1. Lee, I knew you would offer the unexpected. Other commenters have suggested nice shrubs, repainting, taller plants in it, but you blew me away with your idea to put the big thing out in the meadow, surrounded by wildness and leave it empty.

      Intentional.
      Sculptural.
      Surprising.

      Yes.

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    2. Glad you like the idea, Laurrie. If it works for you, I'd love see a picture.

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