Containers can hold everything from groundcovers to flowering plants to small trees. When combining several plants in one vessel, a good rule of thumb is to group three types: tall, bushy, and cascading. This guarantees a garden in every pot.
Here, ceramic tiles embellish the risers of these garden steps, but it’s the potted plants that introduce living color. Arranged off to one side to keep the way clear, the geraniums and succulents are quickly and easily moved whenever the weather or the traffic pattern changes.
A trio of understated containers allows these geyserlike grasses to shine rather than compete for attention.
Yarrow is a colorful filler between two of the containers. Variations on the cube shape are evident elsewhere in the garden, including the angular forms of a nearby path and pavilion.
On this exposed rooftop, where the sun and wind can take their toll, mosaic pots that echo the furnishings and the hardscape can be moved into the shade if needed. Note the space-saving containers hung from the chimney in the background.
Add an element of surprise by recycling old furniture. Here, a profusion of flowers, including Santa Barbara daisies and the occasional pansy, spills from a dresser drawer that now holds soil instead of socks.
Container plants lining the route to an elevated deck make it look and feel like an integrated part of the lower space. Plants in similar colors underscore the connection.
The owner of this garden incorporated everything, including the kitchen sink. A few well-placed dinner plates enhance the illusion of soap suds, which can be created with sweet alyssum.
Containers allow you to swap out a plant without digging up an entire bed. Tired of looking at potted shrubs? Replace them with potted flowers. A pot holder cut into a bench can facilitate other quick switches.
An unusual container can highlight a plant the way this elegant pot turns purple petunias into a floral pompadour.
If a pot is intended as a permanent feature in a garden bed, it’s wise to select one whose size and coloring corresponds with those of adjacent plants. The dark blue foliage cried out for a vessel like this one.