I thought I would share with you a little bit of local history which will be familiar to any visitor from Stoke-on-Trent, sometimes referred to as "The Pot Bank". Over the course of the last ten years many of the world famous ceramic companies in our area have closed or relocated. A friend of ours, from one such pottery, gave us some old saggars - these are the rectangular containers, now acting as plant pots.
Believe it or not there was once such an occupation as "a saggar maker's bottom knocker". In case your wondering, a saggar is a special fireclay container for protecting pots during firing and a saggar maker was a skilled craftsman. Sometimes a lesser skilled person made the bottom part by placing the clay in a metal hoop and knocking it into shape, hence the name. ( you can read more about the history here.)
As you can see, they make rather nice containers for small plants such as sedums, alpines etc. Sadly, over the course of a dozen or so winters, the frost has taken its toll and I am now afraid to move them in case they fall apart all together. As you can see, my trusty garden helper has once again got in on the act, I have never known such a nosey dog!