Most folks who create container gardens do so using annuals. The more adventurous gardeners use perennials, grasses, dramatic plants like Hostas and succulents, and perhaps a dwarf evergreen or two. Olbrich Botanical Gardens has numerous containers of both types. But they take it up a notch with this little forest of big trees and shrubs.
This grouping is just past the pair of container water gardens that I wrote about yesterday. It's also located only a few steps beyond the Atrium doors (out of view to the right) that lead you into the main gardens. As someone who loves green gardens, this combination of deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs is a masterful mix of twisting forms with simple columnar evergreens as foils.
Notice how this group not only continues the line of green made by the climbing Hydrangeas on the stone wall but, with its gentle curve, also softens the corner of the building and sharp edge of the planting bed. And I love how the pots and stones relate to the colors of the building and the paving materials. Pots like these need a lot of water to keep the plants happy but this would make a great summer addition to a deck or dooryard garden at home. Then — when cooler fall weather arrives — you can plant them in the garden.