New This Month

Terra-Cotta Pots

The Martha Stewart Show, March 2010

Martha is always looking for timeless, elegant, and distinctive containers for her garden, and Seibert & Rice's terra-cotta pots, imported from Impruneta, Italy, are some of her favorites.

A center for terra-cotta production since the time of the Etruscans, Impruneta was a mecca for sculptors such as the Della Robbias and architects such as Brunelleschi, who used Impruneta roof tiles for the Duomo in Florence. 

The soil in Impruneta has a unique chemical composition that's particularly high in iron and calcium, resulting in dense, strong clay that makes the terra-cotta produced in the region extremely durable. Originally gray in color, this special clay turns pink after it is fired.

Pots Seen on the Show
Classic Urn
A traditional urn that has been used for centuries to hold olive oil, this pot is now mostly used for decorative purposes.

Faux-Bois Planter
This stunning planter was designed by artisan Mario Nievera, who gathered bark from trees around his Italian home to copy wood's natural texture.

Rolled Rim Planter
Created during the Renaissance for lemon trees, this planter comes in sizes ranging from 8 to more than 40 inches; the larger pots are made using the coil method, while the smaller pots are made by applying clay over an inverted form.

Agresti Vase
This stunning vase was created for George Vanderbilt, who used it at the famous Biltmore Estate in the 1800s. The original mold still exists, and in the 1990s, new large urns were made using the original technique.

Lemon Box
Made by hand in a mold, this lovely box featured a popular lemon motif that appears on pots of many shapes and sizes.

Poetry Pot
Designed by artist, poet, and gardener Robert Dash to look like it had been lying under the sea for years, this elegant pot is inscribed with a poem paying homage to his garden.

Care Tips

  • Lift the pots off the ground on wedges so that there is at least an inch between the drainage hole and the ground.
  • Always make sure the drainage holes are clear.
  • Don't use saucers outside in the winter.
  • Don't leave the pot empty; let a bit of soil remain even when empty.

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