Be bold with big pots packed with large, dramatic plants that sing out with style, or for smaller spaces, try some fashionable succulents in a contemporary bowl. All are easy to look after and many come back year after year. 

1) Colour Contrasts

Modern garden pots
Marry up modern monochrome pots with leafy plants and bright blooms, and set against a colour-blocked backdrop. We used half-hardy orange gazanias with plants that will survive winters in sheltered urban gardens, including a handsome Japanese aralia (Fatsia japonica) and elegant arum lily (Zantedeschia). Plant in John Innes compost; the gazanias are best in multi-purpose with grit for added drainage.

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2) Modern Classics
Summon up traditional country garden style with these lightweight Versailles lead-look containers planted with topiary cones. Add a few highlights with a pot of petunias, and use a standard fuchsia to create a striking focal point, with a flowery carpet of little Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’ around the stem. Plant your topiary in John Innes No 3 compost – white gravel on the surface injects some sparkle while keeping the soil moisture locked in. The fuchsia, dianthus and petunias are planted in multi-purpose compost, and will thrive in sun or light shade.

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3) Rule of Three

Line a path or patio with a trio of matching contemporary Varese-style planters. Fill them with identical plants for a chic designer look, and choose a spiky centrepiece, such as a pink cordyline, to catch the eye. We picked out the tones of the cordyline with pink violas and a burgundy heuchera, plus trailing ivies. Plant in all-purpose compost and set in sun or part shade. This display will last for years; simply swap the violas for nemesias in summer.

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4) Simply Sophisticated

Japanese maples (Acer) are small deciduous trees with fabulous vibrant foliage that make a bold statement in a large pot. Opt for the rich wine tones of a red-leafed Acer and plant in ericaceous compost then stand in part shade. Ideal where space is at a premium. Some of our favourite acer varieties for adding impact are: Shirazz, Taylor, Moonrise and Starfish.

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5) Colourful plants

Spruce up your patio with pots, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you are looking for colourful plants to boost your beds or plant in pots. These are our favourites available in-store now.

Bellis ‘Strawberry & Cream’
Pink pompom flowers bloom all season on compact plants.

Primrose ‘Milkshake’
Add the delicate purple tones of this pretty new variety.

Dianthus ‘Pink Kisses’
These tiny bicoloured pink blooms are simply irresistible.

Short of space in your garden? Try some fashionable succulents in a contemporary bowl to make a miniature alpine garden, follow our 'How To' guide here.