A Clay Planter Keeps Herbs Fresh

Summer is a death sentence for our herb gardens.

We spend weekends at the beach or away on vacation while our pots of parsley and basil fry in the hot sun.

Rather than suffer the guilt of coming home to another withered plant, we've turned to a planter ($45; order here) from Los Angeles-based designer Joey Roth.

Roth, who lives in the dry, warm city of Pasadena, California, was researching irrigation techniques for his garden when he came upon an ancient pot called an olla, which was used by Spanish settlers to irrigate crops. The original pots were made of unglazed clay, which were then buried near the root systems of plants so that the pots' openings remained above ground. When the pots were filled, the water would seep through the porous clay and irrigate the soil.

Using the same idea, Roth formed a two-chambered pot made of unglazed clay. The directions are simple: Plant the outer ring with your most used herbs and fill the inner ring with water, then go on vacation.  

Water will find its way to the plants as needed, keeping them alive and well with no need to refill for up to two weeks.