All fired up about terra-cotta
• Terra-cotta is good for plants. Because it's porous, it pulls excess moisture away from roots, allowing them to breathe.
• Weighty enough to withstand gusts of wind, terra-cotta pots make perfect planters for tall shrubs and trees. And hefty pots can be strategically placed to hold hoses safely away from flowerbeds.
• Even empty terra-cotta pots make beautiful garden accents. You can also use them as catchpots to camouflage plastic planters or line them and use them as serving bowls.
• Literally translated, terra-cotta means "baked earth." But all terra-cotta pots are not created equal -- recognizable by their deep earth-red colour, pots fired at higher temperatures are more durable.
• Terra-cotta is versatile. You can mix it with cast iron, wirework or galvanized metal, or combine weathered terra-cotta pots with new ones, glazed or textured pots with plain. Buy the best pots you can afford and build a collection, adding a few each year.
Winter Care of Terra-cotta pots
• Empty and clean each pot.
• To prevent moisture from pooling inside, then freezing and cracking the pots, stack and tilt small pots upside down and invert large planters. Ensure that the pots don't rest on a level surface, such as soil, pavement or deck. Try placing bricks underneath to shield pots from the soil or use pottery shards to prop up any containers left on the deck.
Here are some excellent sources of pots:
Guy Wolff Pottery
Scott Clay Products (right here in my neck of the woods...er...shore)