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Chimney Pot planting

So I have a couple of old terracotta type chimney pots - one over a couple of feet tall, the other 6 inches or so shorter. I'm not sure how to plant them up. Someone said to put a planted flower pot in the top, but surely that would dry out too soon? I want something a bit more permanent. Should I fill them with compost all the way up, in situ in a border, or inside a terracotta saucer on the patio? I like the idea of growing bulbs in them, and/or maybe a clematis. Any ideas?



  • Thanks, Patsy. So are the  chimney pots on soil or concrete, and are you filling them with compost or just using a potted plant in them? I guess that if bulbs are planted we'd have to fill them with compost so we could plant the bulbs deeply enough?

    I have one of those Mexican daisy plants which looks very pretty and frothy  and I think that might work well planted into it.

  • In a previous existence I had several tall chimney pots which I used for plants.  I had a selection of plastic pots that lodged firmly inside them without showing from the outside.  In the summer I'd plant them up with pretty pink geraniums (pelargoniums) and pale blue and white trailing lobelias and trailing fuchsias etc.

    In the autumn I'd have pots ready planted up with trailing variegated ivy and pink cyclamen hederifolium  and little crocuses and grape hyacinths which looked gorgeous through until late spring.

    For late spring I'd have pots ready planted with short bright red tulips and they would last until it was time to replace them with the summer ones.

    I don't think you need  fill tall chimneys with compost - nothing you plant in them will need soil that deep, and you might need to move them and then you'd lose everything. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Patsy: Its Latin name is:

    Erigeron Karvinskianus

    and I've seen it in many National Trust gardens in the summer and autumn - it seems to seed itself readily in the least likely places and looks beautiful.

    Thanks for all the replies. Verdun - you suggest using them like any other container and putting crocks or gravel at the bottom, but would you put the whole thing in a border first or in a saucer? Otherwise the contents would spill out of the bottom if you move it. 

    I also like the temporary/seasonal planting ideas from Dovefromabove - I wish I was that organised though! 

    One of the pots isnt straight at the bottom too - bits seem to have broken off leaving a jagged irregular bottom to it so I will have to bury it a few inches into the soil in a border as it wouldn't support itself otherwise. Can't see a way of levelling the bottom edge easily.





  • One of mine was quite uneven at the bottom - I just wedged it on a piece of brick tile, with the broken piece at  the back so it didn't show - I had one pot each side of the front porch of the gothic-style cottage where I lived then,  and more dotted around the front garden.  

    You're not married to my ex are you?  I didn't get custody of my flower pots image

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • No, not married to anyone's ex as far as I know, Dovefromabove!

    Your pots were on the front porch, you say... but were they inside saucers or straight on the ground?

  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 3,267

    If you plan to move them at a later date which is what I decided to do, the soil doesn't just come out the bottom, whether you have a saucer underneath or not they are also very heavy to move when full.

    It depends what you want to plant in them too, for instance, a clemantis would need a back support and presumably wouldn't be moved so would be fine in a full chimmey- in your border or on hard ground, wouldn't think there would be need for a saucer.

    I put pots in the tops of mine which are changed seasonally and move the chimney's around the garden.

  • My parents house was on the estate of several medieval country houses (still standing) and I used to find old pottery in the garden all the time. I used to bring back old chimney pots for my mum to pot up, found around the old rose garden and around the walled gardens.

    Years later the local paper had a story on how the local hall had one of the best collections of medieval and Jacobean chimney pots  but these had been systematically depleted over the years by thieves...seems over the years I had been robbing valuable and rare chimney pots for me mum to put woolworths bedding into.

  • OMG blairs - what a story! Where was your parents' house then? It sounds amazing!

  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,658

    My mum had two crown topped chimney pots. She had them on the front and used to fit a hanging basket in the top, and allow trailing plants to go down the sides.....until the morning she found the baskets and plants on the floor and the chimney pots gone.

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