You don’t need to hire an architect or professional landscaper to get some interesting layout designs. With a little research and the help from photos like this one, you can easily see some ideas and recreate them to fit your own specifications. Cut out shapes in planters and sidewalk areas can offer an interesting yard focal point or even add to an already existing design. Use your imagination and cut shapes out to fit into your lawn via garden beds or even gravel and rocks.
Try planting ground cover in a pot. 'Purple Pixie' loropetalum shrub combines showy pink flowers in spring with deep burgundy evergreen foliage and a pronounced weeping form. As a ground cover, it reaches 1 to 2 feet high and 4 to 5 feet wide. Placed in a container, a 1-gallon plant in a 24-inch-tall pot will completely hide the vessel in just a couple of years. This is a great way to give visual structure to your garden without having to make decisions regarding more formal architectural elements when you prefer to focus on softer, more natural forms.
Finding plants with the right combination of beauty and durability for withstanding a harsh climate can be a challenge. Coleus and lantana fit right in with the South’s increasing appetite for hot, cheery, assertive colors that stand up to heat and humidity. With the right types of coleus, you’ll find them to be tough and tidy, and you’ll also get beautiful leaf shapes—something that makes a plant even more enticing for a small container. Pair those shapes with tight clusters of lantana flowers and you get an incredibly intriguing arrangement of visual exhilaration dressed up as a simple gardening idea.
Give your containers a boost. Classic pedestals—these are inspired by classical Greek architecture—raise these potted boxwoods to new heights, adding variety to the arrangement. You can choose this style of column in a range of materials. Look for versions in cast concrete, stone, or metal for the most durability, but this pedestal will also be available in primed and painted wood. The rhythm and repetition of the presence then absence of pedestals, the shared materials for the planters, and the regularity of the boxwoods add an internal harmony to the container garden’s composition. You might wish to consider these types of approaches when developing your garden design.
Gardeners tend to have lots of landscaping ideas for plants and fewer for their hardscapes (nonplant materials). You can easily add a level of interest to your yard by incorporating a variety of materials. Here, the natural feel of lawn and cut flagstones makes for a delightful contrast against smooth Mexican beach pebbles and gravel. Note how the color of the flagstone mimics that of the beach pebbles and ties the two together; it's an example of using repetition.