Blocks of Grass
Eye-catching repeat planting works well with contemporary pots, such as these dark red acrylic blocks. Tactile, arching grasses spray out. Low-key planting around the bases of the pots doubles as a horticultural carpet, adding color and texture.
Black and Shiny
The tall, black-stemmed bamboo Phyllostachys nigra is an excellent choice for a contemporary container. The new growth is dark green but turns shiny black within one or two seasons. When the stems become congested, repot in a larger container.
Traditional cottage garden herbs, such as French lavender (Lavandula stoechas), have their place in a modern scheme, especially when planted in contemporary containers, such as this metallic pot. When selecting alternative herbs for large containers, make sure that they will provide plenty of growth and height: for example, sorrel (Rumex acetosa) grows to 4 ft (1.2 m) high, hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis), with its aromatic dark green leaves, grows to 32 in (80 cm) high, and sweet Cicely (Myrrhis odorata), which has small white flowers from spring to early summer, can reach a height of 3 ft (90 cm).
Step by Step
Low-lying raised beds and a wooden walkway work well against the backdrop of ladderlike verticals.