Stagger pots casually along the perimeter of a space to create the feel of a cozy room. Here, the repeated use of boxwood lends cohesion to a patio, while different-size pots and a few accent plants prevent monotony.
Drop in potted chartreuse accent plants where they'll pop against darker green backdrops. Here, Frisia golden locust trees shine in front of an arborvitae hedge.
Remember sight lines. Place focal points so they're visible from various perspectives. When similar colors or plants can be seen from different areas of the landscape, they unify the garden.
Start with a symmetrical arrangement, then add accent pots on one side to soften the design’s rigidity. Vary the size of pots in a group.
Vary the size of pots in the group. Elevate short pots on a stack of concrete pavers or atop an upside-down pot. Mix low, wide pots with upright shapes.
Coordinate your plants, too. As with pots, a diverse mix of forms and sizes of plants works, as long as you stay within a palette.
Also choose a pottery color, finish, or glaze and stick with it. It's OK to mix styles and sizes, but stay with a palette. Glazed pottery offers unlimited color choices.
Make it big and dramatic -- a large pot, a furniture grouping, or a specimen plant -- so it catches your eye and leads you from one space to the next.