In the spring of 2006 a local nursery received a number of birdbaths that had broken tops. They had an employee with a great idea, she put those bases upside down in the sales yard and planted them. I was the first person to ask if they had more of these bases and would they sell them to me. The price was a ridiculous $5 a piece and I got all 5 that they had available.
One base went in my shade garden and was planted with Hosta 'Halcyon', Hosta 'Green Lance' and Oxalis atropurpurea (the purple clover) which I adore but is not hardy here on Long Island.
For three years these containers all were fine, they even survived winter heave and an occasional fall. Sadly, the one container in the shade did not survive having a tree limb fall on it and knock it over. The broken pieces are two large pieces though and I hope to be able to glue them back together.
We've just had a heat wave here and I could not dig and divide perennials so yesterday I decided to address the problem of the broken container. Even though it had been broken for months and laying on it's side, the Hosta were still growing. Imagine my surprise when I tried to pull them out of the container and the roots just kept coming out.
Those roots were so long that my arm wasn't long enough to hold them for the camera and take a photo at the same time. In fact, those roots went all the way down to the base of the container. I had originally filled the container with compost, not potting soil and it was still nice and rich looking.
Once I had the massive root system on my work table I had to chop off those beautiful roots to make them more manageable.
Finally, the Hosta have been potted up and are ready for their next adventure. I do want to use a piece of both and recreate the planting that I had before.