Retro re-fit

I have a guilty garden secret, a love of retro garden pots, so much so that I just have to buy them whenever I see them. Blame my gardening family, I love those old concrete pots from the 1960’s that featured in the gardens of my grandparents and my aunt. My favourite hunting ground is the local tip shop where I have snapped up some real gems. Occasionally I also find the less common anodised aluminium pots. Whatever retro pot I find I just have to drag it home to join the collection.

When I woke up to an unusually overcast day recently, (a pleasant break from the baking hot weather), I decided to tackle a job that would give both my garden and me a bit of a lift. I decided to ‘makeover’ some of my retro pots.

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Great pot stand, just one design fault, it falls over all the time!

I had several problems to tackle. Many of my pot plants were looking rather rubbish after our two month holiday. There was also the problem of my completely unstable plant stand (only a physical problem thankfully). The top circumference of the stand is wider than its base. With the slightest knock or being placed on a bit of uneven ground it falls over. I loved it’s retro style but I just needed to find the right pot to help my stand stay upright.

When my partner moved all the pots off the ‘lawn’ so he could mow, I suddenly saw the answer to my dilemma. My anodised aluminium pot, with its flared top was the perfect shape for the plant stand! That broad top was wide enough to combat the tendency to fall over and the pot shape fitted the stand as if it was made to go together.The plant it had contained had died, so that was even more reason to get it replanted.

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My anodised aluminium pot, great style, but it comes with some practical problems

Of course I did need to think about why, beyond just general neglect, the plant had died. I thought that the metal pot conducted too much heat and cooked the root zone. It turned out the opposite was the case. When I turned the plant out and discovered that the plant had drowned in waterlogged soil, due to completely inadequate drainage.

So in went a few more holes into the bottom of the pot before re-planting began. I decided to reuse the epiphyllum from my concrete pot and fill the rest of the pot with echeveria cuttings (sorry but I’m not 100% sure of the names).

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Re-potted and topped with broken terracotta pot pieces

I also re-potted the concrete pot with echeverias and haworthia pups. There’s nothing like a bunch of succulents to say retro style.

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Echeverias and Haworthias

I was really pleased with the result of my mornings work. I know that other retro delights await me. Now how do I persuade my neighbour in the next street to sell me their Mexican hat planter?