Garden Craft Ideas: Hattie the Pot Lady

Garden creatures are fun summer projects

| June/July 1998

  • Photograph by Joe Coca
  • Threading rope through pots for the body
  • Assembling the body
  • Completed pot lady
  • Hattie’s apron
    Illustrations by Susan Strawn Bailey
  • Nasturtiums and other climbers make a colorful dress for this scarecrow.
    Photograph by Suzanne Frutig Bales
  • Chicken wire, potting soil, sphagnum moss, and a broomstick form the framework for a living scarecrow.

Are you looking for imaginative and fun summer projects to help you share your love of herb gardening with children? Here’s a whimsical little pot lady—we call her Hattie—that kids and adults alike will enjoy creating.

Hattie is made from those old or extra or slightly damaged clay pots that pile up in the garage. Once you’ve positioned her in a comfortable spot on the ground among your herbs or on a garden bench, she’ll use her personality and charm to beckon children of all ages into the garden. No, she’s not having a bad-hair day—that’s Roman chamomile growing out of her head.

Easy to make, all Hattie demands is an hour or two of your time and a little rope, a few clay pots, a low-growing herb such as chamomile, prostrate rosemary, or creeping thyme, some potting mix, and sphagnum moss. Paint a face on her, add granny glasses, garden gloves, or an apron, and you’re done. Don’t forget to give her a name. With a little help putting her together, even a child can make a pot lady, and caring for her “hair” might just cultivate his or her interest in herbs.


Made with the pot sizes given below, our finished pot lady is a little over a foot high when she’s sitting down. Use whatever size pots you like; you may substitute plastic pots for clay ones if weight is a consideration.

• 3 medium clay pots (5 1/2 inches top diameter) for body and head
• 14 small clay pots (2 3/4 inches top diameter) for arms and legs
• Pencil
• Acrylic paint
• Paintbrush
• 10 feet, 1/8-inch-diameter rope
• Soilless potting mix
• Sphagnum moss

Getting Started

1. Gather your materials close to the spot in the garden where your pot lady will sit because she’s awkward to move when assembled.

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