There is huge range of containers from which to choose, and these will influence the ambience of the patio. Geometrically shaped containers in a formal arrangement give a contemporary look, whilst glazed green or aqua pots are distinctly oriental. Terracotta containers suit any Mediterranean theme, whilst ornately decorated fibrecrete pots are timelessly classical. Fortunately, the cottage style remains as popular as ever and permits a variety of containers as well as hanging baskets to be grouped together randomly - so long as they are brimming with colourful plants.
Make sure you choose the right sized container - both for its position and for the plant or plants it will contain. Big containers overflowing with plants are more eye-catching - and require less watering - than small pots. Grouping containers is more attractive than scattering. Place the larger containers at the back and smaller containers in the front. Position plants in a medium or large container according to their ultimate height, with tall plants towards the centre and smaller ones at the edge.
If space at as a premium go vertical with pots attached to a wall, or invest in a jardinière. Alternatively, choose a couple of large, upright containers, and position them in the corners of your patio.