There I was, minding my own business on an unusually stormy day with 85 mph wind gusts when all of a sudden, I heard a loud CRASH.
Rushing outside, I was greeted by an unfortunate sight.
The strong gust of wind had taken it upon itself to play Hulk knocked over not one, but TWO of my largest and most beloved Terracotta flowerpots!
It was a tragic scene - soil everywhere, plants in disarray, and broken pots scattered around like confetti.
As a self-proclaimed gardening aficionado, seeing my precious plants scattered about like that was enough to make me want to curl up into a ball and cry.
But then, I reminded myself that it's not every day that nature decides to play a practical joke on you.
I mean, sure, this particular day was definitely not my favorite, but I couldn't help but chuckle at the thought of my little green babies being blown away like dandelions in the rain and wind.
Cleaning up the mess was no walk in the park either.
I had to gingerly try and gather all the broken pieces of pottery without accidentally stabbing myself.
There were plants in places they had no business being in - stuck between the fence, hanging off a tree branch, and even stuck in the neighbor's yard (whoops). It was like a scene straight out of a disaster movie, except with a lot more soil.
Of course, it wasn't just my poor plants that were affected. The wind was so strong that it almost blew over my neighbor's car! At first, I thought my house was going to take off with Dorothy and Toto from "The Wizard of Oz."
But alas, it was only my beloved flowerpots that were up for grabs.
To prevent any future catastrophes of this nature, I decided to get creative.
I added weights to the pots, chains to tether them down, and even hired a security guard to keep watch over them at night (just kidding on that last one).
I've always been a believer in the idea that laughter is the best medicine, and this incident was no exception.
So, the next time you feel like your garden is being blown away by life's strong gusts, just remember to sit back, relax, and let nature play its little joke on you.
After all, what's life without a little drama, right?
How it all Started
My very first Frankenpot was also a Terracotta pot that broke when a construction worker accidentally knocked it over.
More than 17 years ago - we were getting some work done in the backyard and I asked the construction guys if they needed us to move the pot. They said no that the pot was not in the way.
I looked at the pieces of my 2-and-a-half-foot tall pot and decided to try to put them together.
Lucky for me, the pot broke into just two pieces, or back then, I most likely would have thrown it away. I decided that the solution was to use copper threading, similar to surgical stitches.
I had no clue if it would actually work.
I used thin copper wire, which I "stitched" through the broken pieces to hold them together. This left visible copper stitches that - years ago - blended beautifully with the terracotta.
The copper stitches reinforced the pot. Maybe not making it much stronger than it was before, but after several moves, it's still intact - as you can see by the photo above that was taken in March 2023.
This flowerpot is now more than 30 years old - it had been in the family for a while before I got it. And the aging process has altered the now patinaed stitches a bit as the pot has thinned significantly through the years.
Terracotta pots are made of clay, which is a porous material, and they go through changes with the use of water and of course the weather. Water can be absorbed into the clay, causing the pot to expand and contract as the moisture level varies.
But she's still a solid flowerpot and is the very faithful keeper of my now more than 17-year-old Christmas Cactus - which has, by contrast, gotten thicker and "woodier" with age!
Now back to the Current Victims: Pot 1 and Pot 2
Pot 1: is a large pot that stands just over 2 feet tall. It's girthy and very heavy without any soil.
Pot 2: is taller at 2 and a half feet and a bit slimmer - just as heavy.
Here is the crumpled mess of Pot 2
The Repairs Begin on Pot 1
Let me first say that I love jigsaw puzzles. I cannot have one at the house or I will do nothing else until I complete it.
Frankenpots: puzzle pieces to be put together.
Pot 1 was basically a straightforward fix. It broke in half with a few small pieces.
The biggest challenge was to maneuver and support its weight by myself and it got tricky at times. I wished, hoped, and prayed that it would not slip and fall out of my arms and create more pieces to put together.
Because of the way it broke, it could not stand upright, as the weight was too heavy, and it would just fall over, as it did onto me 😒
First, I started by putting the smaller pieces together.
You have to think about which piece to start with first so that they can all fall into place together as tightly as possible.
On some pieces (especially on Pot 2), I thought I should be using tie-downs to help bring them together, but I thought it might chip parts off, so I used my body instead and it was exhausting - my back ached - but I was having fun!
In fact, I was having so much fun I totally forgot to take photos of the progress on Pot 1...duh! 🙄
So, these are the few I have of Pot 1.
This is the point of impact - this triangular piece no longer existed - it turned into a million little pieces.
So, Pot 2 donated a piece to Pot 1!
Thank you Pot 2!
So why did Pot 2 donate a piece to Pot 1?
Because Pot 2 was in so many pieces it was doubtful it would ever come back together.
But tried I did!
Challenge: accepted! These were the bigger pieces of Pot 2.
I think the best idea is to build from the bottom up, but it was impossible in this case as there were too many fragments. I was able to place a few here and there but I had to invert all the pieces and look at the manufacturing marks to see if I could match some of the smaller pieces.
Slowly, but surely...
I don't know why I was using this blue tape - it did nothing and stuck to practically nothing - but it made me feel a little more reassured I guess.
Hmmm...it looks like Pot 2 has not one, but two triangular shapes...oh, oh.
It so happens that Pot 2 did come together. And now it has a missing piece that it gave to Pot 1.
Either way, one of them would have ended up with a missing piece. So, does it really matter? I think not.
Though I cannot say for sure, due to the amount of damage, I believe the handle was the point of impact - because I had to rebuild it.
Not only are they now two happy pots back in the garden housing azaleas...
...they are each very unique and have snazzy little triangles!
People have said they look like Mayan relics now...hmmm, I guess they do have that special somethin, somethin!
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out to:
"The Fixer Frankenpot-Stein" at email@example.com