The Riddle of the 38 Pots

When we bought the house, the deck was bordered by these terracotta pots.



Thirty eight of them.

Seriously, pots

They ringed the entire house.  Most of them were empty, or has moss growing in them.  Those that were not empty were filled with hardpan, weeds and mold.  This travesty could even be seen from space:

Space View

To create this abomination, someone had to take a saw and cut thirty eight circular holes in the plywood that went around the deck.  That probably took all day and burned a six pack of beer in the process.  Who would do such a thing?  What manner of madness would compel someone to construct this affront to common sense?  I have been attributed with an inhuman amount of patience, but even I would only make it to the third cut out before I said “screw this shit” and stopped doing it.

gnaws at the mindStaring at those pots day after day on our deck gnawed our minds from the inside out.  Not only did it look tasteless and tacky, but it made no logical sense.  Were we really going to put potting soil in every damn one, pay money (real money not monopoly money but legal tender for all debts public and private) for plants that for all intensive purposes is just DEER FOOD.  You may as well just fill them with kibbles and bits and let the critters go to town.

Yeah, we’d had enough.  We took the pots out, and got a bunch of slate tiles to put in their place.  I haven’t yet cut the angled ones, but as far as I’m concerned they look lovely.

Home Improvement didn’t stop there this weekend.  No sir.  We also went down to Bullock’s Nursery here on the island, which is like no nursery you’ve ever seen.  It’s basically a hippie commune and among the many things they do they sell plants.  And like a farm, they have chickens walking underfoot while you shopped.  Never been in a nursery with chickens.  Anyway, the people there were very friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.  We were quite grateful they took the time to help us out since we’re coming from a completely different climate.  We went in intending to just get some barberry and lavender; simple and deer proof.  But like kids in a candy shop, we ended up buying all sorts of fun things.  They may even be deer resistant too.

We worked pretty hard today, getting all those plants in and the rocks set down.  Our ground here is soft and digs pretty easy, but it’s very, very rocky.  Just digging a hole for one plant and you’ll pull out some rocks the size of a small head.  The plants look great, and so far the deer have sniffed them but they haven’t nibbled.  We left the underside of the deck open, for now at least.  We also left the wooden beams as a border for the planting area.  I hate them and someday they will go away, but for now they serve a purpose.  And I got a hundred and ninety things on my to do list before I go and fix something that isn’t broken.

We did keep a few pots.  If you look closely at the pic of the one with the mushrooms you’ll see the snail I found today.  He seemed pretty happy and looked right at home with the mushrooms and weeds and moss and stuff.  It’s been critter overload around here lately; bees the size of dogs, bald eagles, raccoons, turkeys, deer, you name it.

I did notice one thing – those pots were made in Italy, and they’re pretty good quality.  I actually expected them to crumble in my hands as I removed them but only one or two were even cracked.  Whatever madman came up with this idea obviously really loved it.  There’s no other possible reason.