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Northwest Gardening: Garden Accents from Broken Pottery

Brought to you by Lowe's Creative Ideas

Recycled broken pots can become your garden signature. Here are some ideas from Lowe's Northwest region garden contributor Marianne Binetti.

 Pulmonaria grows over a broken urn.
A white pot contrasts with blue Rhododendron impeditum.

My garden is known for broken pots.

It started when a favorite urn split in half after a freezing rainstorm. I still saw beauty in the curves of the broken container, so I used it partly buried in place of a boulder in my rock garden. A pulmonaria seeded itself nearby, and I liked how the spotted leaves stood out against the solid backdrop of the submerged pot.

 Golden lamium stands out against a black pot.

Next I took a chipped and cracked white pot and laid it, partly buried again, next to a dwarf rhododendron. Sure enough the creamy-white finish on the broken pot drew the eye and helped spotlight the dark-blue blooms of this often-overlooked plant. To my delight a small frog has made his home inside the pot. I can hear him calling for a mate at night.

So now I know I'm onto something. Why toss out broken pots and shards? I recycled a black pot to add contrast to a bright gold lamium-and help hide an electrical outlet.

 A pot fragment serves as an herb label.

I use broken shards of clay pots as mulch in my orange-theme garden and also put those clay fragments to work as plant labels for my herbs.

Soon my garden had a reputation - I will reuse and recycle broken pots. Once word got out I was offered a stack of broken brown pots. What to do? They went right to work for mole control. I buried the sharp edges of the broken pottery alongside my brick pathway.

 Broken brown pots line a walkway.

For years the moles and voles had made that narrow border their superhighway, bothering the roots of the plants in the bed. No more. The partly buried broken crockery discourages moles and now gives the walkway bed a shiny backdrop for purple heuchera and primroses.

I'll always reuse broken pots. What will you reuse and recycle in your garden?

See more Northwest Gardening Articles.