Cast Iron Pots; Revisited

Last week I posted about these iron pots that I had picked up at the local auction.

[The pots in question. ]

In the comment’s section Jonathan asked about the sizes of these pots this was my reply:

I’d say they’re somewhere between 30″-36″ in diameter and a good 18″ deep. They are some good size pots, and certainly, very heavy!

Jonathan also remarked on my list of possible things to do with these pots. I had kind of brain stormed my way through this list and just fired away. Looking back I believe I was looking for some feedback, or remarks . . . or something! Anyway . . .

Here’s my list:

  1. Obviously they could be used for annual plantings.
  2. How about for some type of perennials?
  3. The other obvious one is some sort of combination, or throw in some tropicals.
  4. Do the pots belong on hardscape?
  5. What about buries in garden beds?
  6. Maybe some weird shrub(s) pruned in some weird or unique way.
  7. Trees; small of course, a bonsai of some sort.
  8. In a formal planting, at attention on opposite sides of a prominent entry to a formal area.
  9. Turn one of the pots into a water garden.
  10. Tomatoes?
  11. Place all 3 together in some sort of sculptural element.
  12. Rubbed down with a sandstone block to bring out a different look/paint?
  13. Use one or more pots with some other object to create . . . . . ? ? ?

Then Jonathan answered with his list. It looks like he spent a little time on this list and deserved further thought, discussion, examination. Nice job Jonathan.

Some great ideas:

  1. These pots could be used to create a spilling/cascading water feature. water could spill from one pot to another.
  2. One pot could be hung by its bail over a “fire” of red and orange blossoms. Cascading flowering plants could be planted depicting a pot boiling over.
  3. Small fish could be allowed to roam into the abysses of the pot.
  4. An ideal location for their use would be in a Kitchen garden.
  5. They could be inverted and water cascading over them to act as an umbrella for a ceramic toad.
  6. I would use one pot to create a fire pit for our patio.
  7. I would use another pot on our shop loading dock. It’s an old grain warehouse and a pot like these would look grand painted black with seasonal annuals.

That’s a great list, with some very interesting ideas for their uses. Which leads me to ask the question to my readers.

What say you? How would you use these pots?

This might be worth a Squidoo lens. A place to keep record of all the ideas. I really haven’t asked a lot of my readership, but I am now. So . . . put on your thinking caps and let’s hear it.

If you had these pots how would you use them? Or; if you were able to design them nto a client’s property how would you use them?

By Rick Anderson

The Whispering Crane Institute was originally formed to act as the umbrella organization for the Philosophy of Design Symposium, and other seminars and workshops given by Rick Anderson and Richard L. Dube’. In the year 2000 WCI became a sole proprietorship owned by Rick Anderson. Today the WCI provides design and consultation services for Landscape Contractors, acts as a Green Industry think tank, and provides training for others in the form of workshops, seminars, and individual consulting. The WCI also provides written material, opinions, case-studies and how-to articles for industry trade magazines.


  1. Clean them up, oil them, and they’ll make great Dutch ovens to cook stuff in.
    Dutch ovens? Cook in them? Interesting idea, I wonder if anyone else will come up with that.

  2. I think that I see them empty. On a patio of, perhaps, stone. Then I would put around them smaller pots (perhaps brightly colored pots) with succulents in them. I don’t know why I see them empty, but I do.

    That’s the way you see them because you like those pots for what they are, and are appreciative of their sense of place(I’m guessing). Which is cool. They do have a sense of style and would hold their own in most spots.

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