Style Court

Nine Years of Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes

6.15.2009

Midsummer Night's Dream

It's not really midsummer yet but I'm in the mood to see a few mossy terra cotta flower pots on my small brick landing. Something as verdant as the gardens in the movie.

There are a couple of options: buy perfectly aged mossed planters from Campo de' Fiori, or get my favorite kids involved and try some of these hands-on techniques. Over the weekend an accomplished gardener told me that he finds buttermilk is all you need to cultivate live moss growth on porous terra cotta. I think the waiting period is about a month or more just for the "early stage" look.

Campo de' Fiori does the waiting and offers customers instant gratification at a price: roughly $20 to $175 per pot depending on size. Have you had success mossing your own pots?

Shown here, Schuyler Samperton's apartment with orchid-filled Campo de' Fiori pots photographed by Paul Costello for Domino, April 2007. Inner Gardens has a nice array of these planters, and image two above is via IG.

11 comments:

Mrs. Blandings said...

Love the look - can't decide which is better - no mess or little expense.

Caroline at Caroline's Lost and Found said...

What a wonderful post!! I cannot wait to try out one (or all) of the techniques to age a terra cotta pot...we have a few at home just waiting to be aged! Take care, Caroline

Alicia said...

Go the buttermilk route. It takes much less time & its soo cheap its worth it. Plus then you get to add more or less to your liking. I always recommend it for newly laid garden stones too to take the newness edge off!!!

Janet said...

I have a terra cotta Campo de'Fiori bulb dish (with wrought-iron stand). And while I love it, it sucks up so much water that I have to line it with a glass dish. So, no moss, alas.

Sanity Fair said...

I've always loved this style, though I've never attempted it myself. However, it always makes me think of My Fair Lady, and the scene where Professor Higgins makes Eliza say over and over: "with darkest moss the flowers pots were thickly crusted one and all."

sophie dahy designs said...

We have seen this the Campo De' Fiori line at The Gardens at the Mart in Atlanta and had thought about using them for our silk arrangements. I think they are lovely.

Style Court said...

Sanity -- what a great line.

Everyone, thanks so much for the helpful input.

Pigtown-Design said...

I learned to get pots mossy by getting a little bit of moss and putting it with plain yoghurt and then whizzing it all together in a blender and then painting it on a pot. The moss gives it a head start.

The Peak of Chic said...

C- I've never tried this myself, but I've also heard that buttermilk does the trick. Can't wait to hear which method you use.

Style Redux 2 said...

I have always had success with yogurt and a little moss in a blender, then painting the mix on.

Blushing hostess said...

If mine were not nudged with buttermilk, the mossiness was uneven and totally unreliable. Over time though, I have come to realize the difference between the legitimately achieved moss with time and pots forced into the notion. Now, I much prefer the real thing made with water, shade, and coolness to the bought or buttermilk-aged. I just do not need to perfect a thing born out of complete imperfection and nothing but time. I came by my favorite ones old fashioned way: I earned them.