The imaginative use of containers is an excellent way of prolonging the growing season. Many plants are suitable for a fall display, including wide range of evergreens, small deciduous shrubs (for foliage and berries), late-flowering perennials such as asters or sedum, bulbs and ornamental cabbages. Good choices of bulbs are cyclamen in small containers and cannas in large ones. Heathers and skimmia make good container shrubs and even certain maples can be planted in large pots.
Check the pots are clean and attractive in their own right because now, in the fall, as the plants start to die back and they are less lush and abundant, they can become a prominent feature.
Stone troughs always look good even when the plants have died down. Galvanized steel containers and buckets add a bright, modern look, and look good with plants whose leaves turn reddish-purple, or evergreens with shapely, shiny leaves.
If you can afford it, it is also worth investing in a few really attractive pots, such as Victorian-style pots, with their different shapes, and classical Italian-style containers with decorative touches. One large container is important as a focal point, and elaborate ceramic or stone urns always have plenty of impact.
Modest terracotta pots can be given a new lease of life by painting them in different colors. Think carefully about which colors to use, since colored paint can stand out quite differently from the colors of plants. Pots can be decorated to your own taste, perhaps with narrow or broad stripes, for example in blue and white, pale green and yellow, or with vivid speckling on a bright background. These colors will not be evident in the summer when the flowers and leaves bush out and hang down, but they will show from mid-fall when they inject extra life to patios and terraces.