Creativity: How all the best ideas go to pot

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The Independent Culture
ONLY Jack Muirhead went so far as to send us a plastic plant pot in response to last week's request for unusual uses. Neatly snipped and taped together again, it looked like a Lego garden fence, but was intended as a strip of plant labels for seed trays. With 'a dozen or more cut from each pot', this encourages proliferation, when Mollie Caird's idea may be put into action: 'Placed upside down and starting with the largest size at the base, these can be built into an igloo- shaped garden shed to house the next few years' supply of redundant pots.'

Simon Sinclair suggested that 'cunningly positioned, it might act as a disguise for Linford Christie' or 'a shade for the little blue light on off- duty police cars'. Those ideas were new, but his fez was familiar. Indeed, the fez was most common among a range of sartorial plant pots, including codpieces and ear-muffs. Dog muzzles were also popular, with Shirley Burnham varying by suggesting 'muzzle for back-seat driver'.

Sunken into the ground, or laid on the carpet, they facilitate putting practice, as several readers pointed out, but only R Naylor saw them as isolation units for mice with contagious diseases. The hole in the bottom of the pot was an added challenge. Sam Rowlands filled it in before using his pot as a sand-castle mould, but Mr Naylor and Mr Sinclair took advantage of the hole by using theit pots as therapeutic mugs for alcoholics. Mary Hess produced a variation on that idea with 'chamber pots for children who don't want to pee'.

They also, according to several of you, make good moulds for concrete border ornaments in the garden, though Katie Banks had a different type of mould in mind when she suggested dipping them in milk and encouraging lichen to grow.

Finally, and most unusually for this column, we have a genuine gardening tip from P R Dodd: 'Sunk into the soil about three inches from the stems of tomato plants, they can be used to introduce water and nourishment to the roots. Cover the soil with gravel or stones to act as a mulch.'

This week's object is a chicken's wishbone. Any ideas for creative uses thereof will be gratefully received at Creativity, The Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB.

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