The story of our pots

The Garden

Once a year, our terracotta pots make the 1,300-mile journey from Tuscany to Worcestershire showrooms. But what makes them so special and how do we get them here?Carefully!

Italian terracotta pots

From huge citrus planters for specimen trees and mature olives, to metre-high glazed French jars to make a bold statement in a formal garden, to decorative terracotta planters for spring bulbs and summer planting, their early spring arrival marks the start of the gardening year.

It takes the Holloways team a whole morning to unload them, slowly but surely, from the curtain-sider which has painstakingly transported them the 1,300 miles from the factory in Tuscany to our showrooms. On pallets, they're carefully set down by the outbuildings on the farm before being unwrapped and carried into place in our courtyards to form a magnificent display.

Terracotta pots outside Holloways showrooms

For almost a quarter of a century, we've been using the same factory in Tuscany to make our terracotta pots and planters. Craftsmen throw them by hand using the local Galestro clay. It's a material that's been used in that part of Italy since the Etruscan period – more than 2,500 years ago.

One the pots have taken on their shape, their makers decorate each one by hand to create unique colour and texture, a work of art. They're fired at temperatures of almost 1,000 degrees, which makes them highly frost-resistant and able to withstand the worst the great British weather can throw at us.

Holloways garden antiques courtyards

There's a huge range of sizes and design to suit contemporary and traditional gardens, however large or small your space.

We love to group different sizes together to create a show-stopping display. They're beautiful, too, placed on steps to lead the eye through a doorway or up to another level in the garden.

Plant for height and interest. Clipped bays look splendid underplanted with Erigeron Karvinskianus (Mexican Fleabane); plant bountiful spring bulbs for early-season joy, or try different varieties of Hosta or Heuchera for a striking summer display.

Terracotta pots at Holloways

Looking for inspiration? RHS Gold medal-winning garden designer Kate Durr shows you how to plant up your pots in our Journal.

Kate Durr on pots