Of Flower Pots and Bling

‘The Time has come,’ the Walrus said, ‘to talk of many things:
Of shoes — and ships — and sealing wax,
Of cabbages and kings.
And why the sea is boiling hot
And whether pigs have wings.’
– Lewis Carroll, The Walrus and the Carpenter

For our Phoenix guests who don’t mind roads that go up and down and around curves and along crevasses all at the same time, the Pickle Barrel Trading Post in Globe is a fun destination.

Discover distinctive Old West shopping when you visit the Pickle Barrel Trading Post.
– 1st sentence that appears in a Google search

Manifestly untrue. I’m sure the Old West never had anything even remotely like the Pickle Barrel.

The variety of merchandise available is incredible!
– 2nd sentence that appears in a Google search

Completely true. I’m sure I’ve never seen anything remotely like the variety of merchandise that’s inside the Pickle Barrel. The Walrus’s many things.

Purses. Jewellery. Hats. Shirts. Belts. Belt buckles. Pottery. CDs. Books. Bookmarks. Vintage junque. Actual antiques. Deer hides. Beading supplies. Animal-head wall trophies. Paintings. Photographs. Mineral specimens. Painted rocks. Dream catchers. Toys. Puzzles. Playing cards. Woven baskets. Glassware. Copper ware. Knives. Throw rugs. Greeting cards. Leatherwork. Native American art. Interior decor not otherwise readily classifiable.

And outside? Exterior decor classifiable most easily by content: metal, wood, concrete, pottery. Metal: gazebos, trellises, wall art, and sculpture (marimba bands, scorpions, flowers, gazebos, roadrunners, Gambel’s quail families). Wood: mirror frames, benches. Concrete: turtles, ponds, sundials.

And my favourite: the flowerpots.

3-photo collage of Mexican flowerpotsSo far, I have not bought a flower pot. I think of the challenge of getting it home, in a vehicle already packed to the gunnels with stuff for our 3-month sojourn in the New Southwest. I remind myself that we are in divestment mode, not acquisition. I remember my father’s comment about souvenirs that speak so loudly of the place they’re from.

They look fine where they are.
I don’t know what they’d look like at home.

But mostly, I realize that although the pots look better than fine standing about in small groups, I don’t know what just one would look like at home.

And if just one would be tough to find room for in the back seat, a group would be impossible.

So, so far, I have not bought a flower pot.

So far.


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8 Responses to Of Flower Pots and Bling

  1. A pottery place between my house and your house specializes in monumental sizes of pots. For years, I have resisted the temptation to get one. Moving even one of them would require two husky men and a truck. But the longing to have one of those pots remains. Like you, I have no idea where I could put it but that doesn’t undermine their attraction even a little bit. Your pot of choice, however, is manageable and would justify its bulk when you cannily fill it with other things you are transporting. It would proclaim “sunshine” through every dull day. Nothing else inanimate could be so cheerful. I brought a Native American pot from New Mexico that was not so colorful and a tad larger that warmed heart and hearth for decades. Does this help you to make up your mind?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – It does . . . 🙂 I’m pleased with your framing of the question. The Big Guy might not be quite so pleased.

  2. Tom Watson says:

    The size of those flower pots! Trouble with buying one would be filling it with something. What do you put in it? A Douglas fir?

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – I figure they’d only be good for decoration as-is. No plants to care for and to keep the squirrels out of.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    There was a store in Dorset, on Lake of Bays in Ontario, that was like the Pickle Barrel. It was fun just going into it to see all the stuff they had on sale. But no gigantic flower pots that I can recall.
    JIm T

  4. I am sure the real old west shoppers would have burst out in tears seeing that for sale. Would they have even been able to “see” all the bright colours? Chances are it would have made them sick.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – Now there’s an interesting concept – the degree to which colour sense has changed over time.

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