Everywhere I look bloggers are talking about their summer pots. We have a dozen pots that spend their summer scattered throughout our garden as well as three huge platters that are displayed on the walls of the house. All of them are the work of Wisconsin artist, Mark Skudlarek of Cambridge Woodfired Pottery.
We like pots that are elegant as well as earthy and subdued. Among my favorites are this pair that have been living on the deck for a number of years; currently planted with Hostas and boxwoods before that. They are the only Skudlarek pots that have plants in them.
Often these deck containers have a companion pot nearby.
This one is just off the deck enmeshed in Geranium cantabrigiense 'Biokovo' in a triangular garden where three paths cross each other. This has been a great year for that particular Geranium.
Though we have traditional Japanese elements in our garden, we've given them a western interpretation like this Tsukubai below. Rather than a stone basin and bamboo water spigot, we've used one of Mark Skudlarek's pots and a piece of recycled copper tubing from an old hardware store in Madison.
You'll notice that many of his pots are patterned; some with stripes like the ones above and below.
Some are more subtle with an all-over textured surface. This pot held a waterlily but we usurped its spot when we redid the driveway last year and have not quite decided its new location and use.
The glazing contributes the "decoration" on some of the pots. Though this has four handles we never use them to carry the pot. This was the first really large pot we bought from Mark and it gave us a desire to add more big containers.
We used our 20th wedding anniversary as the excuse to treat our selves to the pot below. It is so large that we can barely lift it. But what a sense of drama and scale it gives to the garden and the Tea House.
If you look closely below (or enlarge the picture) you can see the other big pot on the opposite side of the Tea House.
This one is at the top of the sloping Tea House garden that I've been working on for the last few years.
If you live in the area it is well worth making the short trip out to Mark Skudlarek's pottery. His showroom is always open with payment on the honor system. Although most times he is out working in his adjacent studio so you can meet him and ask any questions. And you can see his amazing kiln!