The great appeal of plants in pots is that they are versatile, adding pizzazz to an urban chill-out zone, providing a decorative touch to a flower-filled garden, and injecting a dash of color into almost any plot. Use large containers as focal points in beds or borders, and tiny pots to help to dress up more intimate areas of the yard. Containers also allow you to celebrate the seasonal changes with spring bulbs, and summer and autumn bedding.
Weathered and rustic containers lend themselves to traditional, formal and period gardens. A large pot planted with a specimen shrub or grass makes a great focal point for the end of a grassy path or pergola, drawing the eye through the yard. Choose stone urns filled with a profusion of flowers and foliage to complement herbaceous borders or mixed beds, and raise them on platforms for added impact. Containers can also be set among plantings to heighten the sense of mystery and surprise as visitors discover them, and used to integrate seasonal color into a parterre or knot garden.
Containers with clean, simple designs complement the elegance of a modern garden or yard. Choose a tall slender pot made from contemporary materials, such as composite stone or metal, matched with an architectural plant and positioned in a prominent place to create an eye-catching sculpture. Minimalist planting designs also work well in chic city gardens. Try similar plants grown in identical geometric-shaped containers to add structure and movement to your garden, and use them to flank a flight of steps, add height to a low wall, or edge a pathway. Bold foliage plants will help to enhance your design. Good choices include spiky phormiums, flowing grasses and neatly clipped box balls or lollipop-shaped bay trees, which look fantastic in elegant containers standing like sentries on either side of a front door or entrance.