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All About Terracotta


What is Terracotta?

The word ‘terracotta' derives from Italian and simply means ‘fired earth', though the word is often used to describe the orange-brown colour of this red-burning clay. Usually brown or buff in colour in its raw state, the clay turns to its distinctive, orange colour in the kiln, when fired to its maturing temperature.

Terracotta is an earthenware clay, that is, a clay which when fired is porous, a characteristic which has contributed to its popularity around the world as the natural material choice for garden pots and containers.

Traditionally, terracotta has also been extensively used in the making of domestic ornaments, and in architectural work; from basic bricks and hardy, utilitarian tiles, to ornate embellishments aplenty from Renaissance Italy through 19th century Britain to the present day…

Terracotta is all around us; it is decorative, practical and brings a natural warmth and beauty to our homes and gardens.

Thank You For Your Purchase

Thank you for purchasing a product from our terracotta garden planter/wall pot range.

Our products are handmade with pride in the UK at our pottery in Wattisfield, Suffolk, from only the best English Terracotta clay, and are intentionally fired to a very high temperature – in excess of 1070 °C . Firing to this temperature ensures that the clay matures making our pots both strong and durable, whilst retaining its uniquely porous properties.

Terracotta is the natural material choice for garden & plant pots providing good growing conditions for plants. Its natural porosity allows the pot, compost & plant roots to “breathe” whilst assisting in reducing the likelihood of overwatering.  

Terracotta containers will provide an ideal home for a variety of plants helping to keep plant roots cool over the summer months. During hot and sunny conditions plants will require additional watering to ensure that the pots and compost do not dry out. A sprinkling of grit or small stones on the surface of the compost will help the compost retain water. With regular watering and feeding flowering plants will flourish throughout the spring and summer, resulting in colourful eye catching displays.  

Having taken care in all stages of manufacture to achieve a quality finished pot we dearly wish for you to enjoy your pot for many seasons to come, so here are some useful hints regarding the care of your terracotta pot.

Care of Terracotta Pots

When not in use, during the winter months we recommend that the pot is emptied, cleaned and stored ready for further use the following season.

It is our view that terracotta pots are not 100% frost proof, nor for that matter are other similar materials such as concrete or cast iron. Nevertheless, as terracotta is porous, water is absorbed into the pot during wet conditions. This very same quality of porosity which is so beneficial during the summer months can leave pots susceptible to frost in winter months.

When a pot becomes soaked and the temperature falls below freezing, frost damage can occur. This can be in the form of cracking, but the more common form of frost damage is where fragments from the pot surface shale. Even bricks can shale in very cold conditions. Signs of this can often be seen in brick walls where the surface of the brick has deteriorated. Pot rims or prominent features are usually the most vulnerable.

We therefore advise that the pots are stored in a shed or greenhouse, garage or cellar to prevent any potential damage. Caring for your pots is simple. Pots which are protected from frost will give you many years of faithful service.  

If the pots are planted up with spring bulbs in the winter, and stored under cover, until the bulbs start to sprout, they can then be moved outside. In this way, they will flower earlier than those set in the garden.

HAND-CRAFTED IN ENGLAND BY Henry Watson's Potteries Ltd, Suffolk.