Magician James conjures up lots of pots with dots for Exmouth disability charity

Cheerful dotty pots filled with plants and messages to make people smile have been dreamed up by a family from Exmouth in aid of charity.

James Tetlow, aged 31, who came up with the idea of painting dots on pots while he was shielding at home from the coronavirus, is raising funds for the Exmouth Gateway Club.

James, who was born with Down’s syndrome, has been painting pots with his dad, Paul, who is also shielding, ready for mum, Michelle, to fill them with plants.

The family welcomes donations of pots painted with dots that can be sold to give Exmouth Gateway Club a boost – a social club for adults with learning disabilities.

They plan to sell the dotty pots at the end of June.

James, who before lockdown regularly performed in East Devon as a magician, said the painted pots look ‘awesome’.

He said: “I mixed some of the colours to make green and red and blue – it’s really beautiful. It’s just magical.”

He added: “I used my acrylic paints. I used mum’s pots. I talked to mum and I said ‘okay, let’s do it’.”


James and his dad, Paul, started the dotty pot project painting in April.

Exmouth Exmouth pots Exmouth

James and his dad began painting in April and the family already has a two-metre table filled with dotty pots to sell once the plants have grown bigger.

Mum Michelle is inviting anyone with dotty pots to get in touch through her Facebook group, Garden Friends East Devon.

She said: “James put lots of dots on pots. We were laughing because we called them the dotty pots.

“He said ‘I love my dotty pots. I want to make them for charity’. I said ‘if you put your creativity to dotty pots, I will fill them with plants and sell them for charity’.

“We are going to make as many dotty pots as we can. Even if we don’t have enough plants to fill them, we can still sell the dotty pots that people can use for their own plants.

“I don’t think there’s a limit for the dotty pots – we can sell them on their own.”

Keen gardener Michelle added: “We’ve invited everybody to create dotty pots. People have been bringing them and we have got a two-metre table which is filled with dotty pots, and there are more dotty pots on the way.

“They have to be happy dotty pots. If you want to put a note with it to bring a smile to people’s faces, you can. Some people have, some people haven’t.

“We waiting for the plants to grow on a little bit, and holding a dotty pot plant sale towards the end of June.”


Some of the dotty pots filled with plants.



Michelle has already filled finished pots with Geums, Coreopsis Early Sunrise, Carex Everest, Cosmos, Limara Lemon, plus Coreopsis Early Sunrise with Acidanthera bulbs for later-season colour and smell.

The painted pots can be creative or simple, and any colour, as long as they have dots on them.

The ideal pot size is around two-litre – the type used by garden centres for herbaceous plants. The pots do not have to be new.

You can add a card or note if you wish, with a message to make someone smile.

If you have dotty pots to donate, contact Michelle through her Garden Friends East Devon Facebook page, here.

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