Make Music with Your Terra Cotta Pots

If you are like me, you may have a pile of empty terra cotta pots of all sizes sitting in a pile somewhere.
What to do with them?  throw them out? give them away? Paint them up?

Here's an idea - use them to make music!

These photos are from the Central Texas Gardeners Blog (CTGB - check out this great blog)

Terra cotta pots of varying sizes hang upside down from a sturdy board. You hit them with a drumstick which has one end wrapped in yarn. Each pot makes a different sound.
This reminds me of the time my mother, studying at Cooper Union as an art student, created a homemade 'musical intrument' in our living room. Part of it consisted of cans hanging upside down and I would, as a child, bang away on them for hours.....I think terra cotta makes a better sound.

This is the drumstick (Courtesy CTGB)

In addition, you can use the grass clippers (open close, open close) to add another percussive sound:

Of course you can add the sound of water, the dog can keep time and maybe some garden critters will add harmony. As Linda Lehmusvirta writes in her wonderful blog,

"the fountain adds its own percussion. The toads chime in with lyrics".

 When you put this all together you get a lovely 'garden implement' composition.

Here is a short clip of  the Mundi Ensemble (with Mundi’s cellist, Carolyn Hagler in her colorful Austin garden). Find out more about this in the Central Texas Gardeners Blog.


  1. Wow, I love your ideas & stories. And your pictures are fabulous. When it's too hot to garden, make music!

  2. WOW ! FANTASTIC ! Color ! Music ! Ideas ! This is truly "Eye Candy" Feeds my Soul ! Gardens are heavenly, Music is heavenly-----putting them together is more than words can express ! THANK-YOU !

  3. thank YOU! now all we have to do is train the critics to sing along....

  4. Sounds like my kind of music! And those terra cotta pots look so nice hanging there.

  5. Jan, You are amazing and an inspiration in and out of the garden. Thank you for being you.

  6. I LOVE the terra cotta pots idea! Very cute :)

  7. I was enjoying your utterly gorgeous photos which helped me understand exactly what I like! I pinned a few before I realize that you prefer to have folks ask permission. I deleted the pins at once. Do you allow pinning from the site? Pinterest always tracks back to the original source and I try to give credit for the images I pin.

    Truly beautiful work.

  8. Larkspur - as long as you credit Jan Johnsen or Johnsen Landscapes & Pools ( either) - feel free! and thank you for your wonderful words!

  9. What a nice idea, making harmonized sound with those hanging terra cotta pots seems so great, it adds an additional ambiance at all.

    1. Thanks for that lovely comment - I agree! and kids would be enticed to go outside - away from their computers and video least for a while.

  10. Concrete Planters ....
    Nice post....Thanku....


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