Centuries-old stone pots look fantastic in the garden but can be hard to find and very pricey.
The stone pots used by English gardeners in the early 1900s were actually sinks and troughs from old buildings that had been cut from volcanic rock by stone carvers.
As the original stone planters ran out, the English made their own, and you can do the same with just a few items from the hardware store.
To make fake stone, mix peat moss, perlite and Portland cement. Shape it into pots using a sand mould, then leave to dry for several days.
WEATHER THE POTS after they dry by brushing the edges with a wire brush, held at an angle. This deepens the cracks, folds and shadows.
COLOUR THE STONE by adding a little oxide powder to the cement mixture.
AGE THE SURFACE using a blend of small pieces of moss and buttermilk. Coat the pots and set aside for two weeks to let the moss grow.
TIP Leave the empty pots outside until a few good rainfalls have leached away the lime in the cement. It can be toxic to acid-loving and other types of plants.
Wearing gloves, mix two parts peat moss with one part perlite in a plastic bucket. Add one part Portland cement and mix with water until it is the consistency of cottage cheese.
Fill your cupped hands with wet sand and put it on a workbench. Pat the sand into a mound, cover with plastic sheet and scoop the cement mixture over it, patting it into shape.
Gather the plastic, pat the mix into shape, then tilt the pot to pack wet sand under the rim. Unfold the plastic, flatten the pot base and add drainage holes. Let the pot dry for two days.