A Superhero for Gardeners – It’s Potman!

This picture was taken a long time ago in London, in front of one of my favorite florist's shop (Kenneth Turner). I have always loved the "Potman", and think it would make a wonderful alternative to a scarecrow in the garden.

I know that title is more than a little bit silly, but I’m hoping it caught your attention. We have all seen scarecrows protecting seedlings in the garden before, but here’s a new twist on that idea. How about making one out of clay pots instead of the usual clothing stuffed with straw?

If you are like me, you have probably accumulated way too many clay pots over the years.  Some of mine are cracked or slightly broken. Even still, I hate to throw them away. This is a perfect craft for all of those less than perfect pots you may have hanging around.

It’s very simple to create this fun project. First, lay out on the ground the pots you want to use and stack them in the order you would like them to be in. Once you have come up with your perfect Potman, measure the length of the arms, legs and body, neck and head. The sections are held together by rebar and twist-ties, so measuring will help you to determine the length of rebar you will need. (Add about 2 feet to the rebar for the legs.)

Here is a diagram of the rebar skeleton, and where to connect them with twist ties. This is just a suggestion - you might have a different pose that you would prefer for yours.

Next, pound two of the rebars into the ground about 2 feet deep for stability.  Begin stacking the pots on them for the feet and legs. Add the pot which will become the abdomen next with the rebar poking through the drainage holes in the sides of the bottom of the pot to secure it to the legs. Then attach a bent rebar in the shape of an upside down “U”. This should be secured with long twist ties to the leg rebar. The next pot will be the torso. For this pot, choose one that is one size larger than the lower one, and it will nest nicely on top to create its own seal. Before connecting them, secure a “J” shaped rebar to the “U” shaped one with more twist ties. This “J” shaped rebar should be long enough to protrude from the torso pot and into the pots you will be using for the neck and head, to secure them. Connect the shoulder and arm rebars. You may find this step easier to put together on the ground, then lift into place as one piece. Again, secure with more twist ties, and add the neck and head pots. Your done!

Some helpful tips:  To cover rebars which may be exposed, or to fill in “joints” where pots connect, use sheet moss. Your Potman will look like it has been there a long time, and it will add character to your garden. Also, it’s fun to fill the “head” pot with soil to grow grass, or a vine that you can style into “hair.”

If you live in an area prone to freezing winter temperatures, make sure to give the pots a seal with some polyurethane spray before assembly. This will protect them from the effects of the cold and wet.

I hope you will try this craft, and have him (or her) protect your garden from the crows! Enjoy!

Update: August 7, 2012. I was just on Pinterest and saw this cute variation. It is held together with ropes to make it possible to pose. The two on the left can also be used as wind chimes!

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