Monday, November 17, 2008

Planters: why are they so hard to find?

I have an affinity for house plants. Luckily, it's not antithetical to the whole mid-century modern ideal (I have a massive collection of great, mid-century Sunset "how to" books on plants, planters, potting, containers, etc., to prove it!). However, it has been infuriating trying to find period containers for my little friends.

I scored a couple good, giant vessels in the style of Architectural Pottery ( at a thrift store for $30 a piece (that was a major find), but for the most part, I've had a heck of a time finding anything. Even online I've had trouble, so I decided to put together a little list that I'll try and update as I find more sources.

The most obvious prospect is the bullet planter. These used to be a fun little icon of the 50's, but now they cost upward of $165 (just for the medium size). Freaking ridiculous. I'm not even going to put links, 'cause that's just an insane amount of money to pay for something to stick a plant in.

You can usually find some decent Haeger on E-bay for not too much cash, but if they're of any sort of substantial size, shipping is a killer. The same problem (shipping) exists with any pottery you find online.

Why can't I find just a simple cylinder shape with no taper?

Chiasso makes this one, but it looks too thin to be ceramic or terra cotta, so it's probably plastic or aluminum (why wouldn't it say what it's made of in the description?), not to mention it's $68 plus shipping for a 14"x14" size (what they call large). Lame.

I just want to walk into Lowe's or Home Depot and pick up a very simple plant receptacle. White or cream, no little squigglies or faux finish, no stupid shapes. Just a plain cylinder for my plants.

Is that too much to ask?

Gainey makes some cool stuff, but again, it is cost prohibitive.

David Cressey made some really cool stuff too, but it's a little too "decorative" for my taste. Plus, since it's highly collectible, good luck finding an affordable piece.

I'm probably going to end up building my own planters from poured concrete. They'll be heavy, but they'll be simple!


  1. Hey, I just came across your blog while trying to see how much ceramic planters cost. I picked up a half-dozen plain, ceramic planters from my mother the other day and they are taking up room in my garage.

    If you happen to be in the LA area and are interested, let me know: steven - dot - griswold - at - g m a i l - dot - com

  2. Hmmm... unfortunately I'm in Denver, CO, and shipping on heavy planters would probably be prohibitive, but I'll try to drop you a line.

  3. I recently scored around 20 huge Gainey Ceramics planters all for under $20 a piece. I am sooooo happy!!! My quest for planters has ended (though the residual effect is still there and I can't help but gravitate to planters when I enter mid-century stores).