Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Timeless terracotta in Mediterranean gardens
The roads around the Costa Brava carry a steady stream of French people buying garden plants and containers to take home with them. Three and four metre specimen trees are loaded onto trailers for the journey, whilst the containers fill every available space in the vehicle. Prices in France they tell me can be nearly a third more expensive than here in Spain. So if they live within easy reach of the border they make a day of it; food, fuel, spirits and cigarettes are all cheap and when added together the savings are significant.
From the Bay of Roses until it reaches the border crossing to France the road is littered with retail outlets selling pottery originating in Spain. The locally produced pots come from La Bisbal which is easy to find from the N11 or A7 roads.
Though the potters are continually innovating in both design and in decoration a plain terracotta pot can steal the show. Some of the bigger establishments carry a stock of large wine and water coolers designed to be submerged or shaded. They are often seen decorating golf courses, restaurants or hotels.