Real Estate

Is Your Garden Missing Something? You May Need a Large Pot (or Several).

Flower pots, they are not. But Stephen Procter’s large stoneware garden vessels, some as tall as five feet and incorporating 250 pounds of clay, are nevertheless functional pottery — even without the soil and the plants.

In the clay world, he said, there’s always talk about functional versus nonfunctional pottery, attempting to draw a line between the two. Mr. Procter, a Vermont-based ceramist, has seen his and other such outsize garden sculptures in action, though.

“An object that invites contemplation, and inspires, and offers this kind of mysterious sustenance is functional in a deep and important way,” he said. “Not functional that you’re going to drink your coffee out of it, but the work has high purpose in the landscape and in the world.”

A substantial sculptural element can perform a variety of garden-design jobs, he added, strengthening the structure of the landscape by “calling attention to its junctures — the entry, or the transition point, or the destination.”

When used to mark a transition between areas in the garden — or a turn in a path like this one at the Blithewold arboretum in Rhode Island — the vessels “become a greeter, if you will, to this new part of the garden that you’re moving to,” Mr. Procter said.Credit…Stephen Procter

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