Enter the open courtyard of this desert home, and you’ll be enticed by the collection of extra large pots that break up the long line of the front façade. The home also has a long raised bed that increases curb appeal—but without the pots, people would still come up to a ho-hum front door.

By adding five pots instead of foundation plants, the homeowner here limited water use—and was able to have a lot more fun with plantings.

The 28-inch Chinese red glazed egg pots originally held pistache trees, for height and plentiful annuals that offer popping color. However, we quickly found that the trees were not the best choice for pots: With constant water and fertilizer, they grew so fast that the soil bases were not large enough to support the trees. They were quickly taken out (after two large storms threatened them and their pots) and replaced with Mexican lime trees. The original trees were planted in the back landscape.

Seasonal changes allowed the homeowner to play with different colors to bounce off the deep red tones of the pots. Yellow, white and shades of blue will all work well with these striking containers!

Marylee Pangman is the founder and former owner of The Contained Gardener in Tucson, Ariz. She has become known as the desert’s potted garden expert. She is available for digital consultations, and you can email her with comments and questions at potteddesert@gmail.com. Follow the Potted Desert at facebook.com/potteddesert.