Monday, March 29, 2010

Cast-stone Planters from Haddonstone

Say the words container gardening and what might come to mind is either a window box or some basic shape of terracotta. An alternate material that is often seen in public gardens or old estates though is cast stone. Cast stone dates back to the 12th century and can look like poured concrete but it's a more refined compound manufactured to simulate natural cut stone by adding sand, stone, and gravel to the concrete in just the right proportions.

There are some considerations with choosing these pots- one is their heavy weight the other is that they can get expensive. By contrast to the warm red-orange tones of terracotta, cast stone offers a cool and soothing neutral foggy hue that allows the plants to be the focus. Particularly striking are plants in the pale greens and blue spectrum such as succulents. Care should be taken in choosing the right plant and the right location as moving these requires a strong back and often a second pair of hands.

Robert A. M. Stern the American architect and Dean of the Yale University School of Architecture is no stranger to designing consumer goods that include a dinnerware collection, jewelry, lighting and door hardware. Now his latest design work can be seen in the form of cast stone.

The Stern Collection of cast-stone planters from Haddonstone was designed in collaboration with Robert A.M. Stern Designs. The first two ranges in the collection are called Athenian and the Olympian. The Athenian range features assorted urns on bases inspired by Art Deco and Art Moderne ornaments. The Olympian range alludes to the shapes of ancient and neoclassical vessels and includes two bowls, two urns, and a tall, slim amphora.

Retail prices for the smaller pieces start at about $300 the larger vessels sell for as much as $1200

(dudleya pulverulenta or 'chalk dudleya' shown her in bloom planted in a lotus bowl is not from Haddonstone although a similar version may be found there)

A ten minute video tour through Haddonstone’s factory in Northamptonshire, England

1 comment:

  1. Latin name of plant shown corrected on 03/31/10

    Dudleya pulverulenta