I've created several versions of this tiered planter, and it's one of my favorite projects. It's great at as a focal point in any garden, a welcoming planter at your entryway as in the pic above, or for gardeners who have limited space and need to garden vertically. It's easy, relatively inexpensive and can be completed in one afternoon. Now that's my kind of project! Here's what you need:
Choose three pots of graduating sizes; you might even have them on hand already. These are fairly large--the smallest one is 16" across. You'll also need potting soil, a variety of annuals in 4" pots, one larger plant for the top planter, and bagged moss for finishing.
If you have a large plastic nursery pot, now is the time to invert it and place it in the bottom pot. This will provide stability for the two other pots, and avoid the expense of filling the largest pot with unnecessary potting soil. Cinderblocks or bricks will also work. Now stack your second pot in the center and fill the bottom pot with soil up to 4" from the top of the rim. Fill your second pot with soil about 4" from the top of the rim and, finally, place the top pot on the soil surface. You'll have this:
Now the fun starts! Take your 4" annuals out of their pots and carefully place them on the soil in the rings created around the base of each pot. Pack them in side-by-side, adding a bit of soil to make sure they're settled in. Finish off with small handfuls of moss tucked in and around the plants, and you have a stunning vertical planting that will look great for months:
This is the newest plant combination that I created this year: it still stays with the purple tones, but has a bit of white in the flowers for some punch. I like using two colors for maximum impact; but feel free to do your own thing! Good luck with your project, and let me know how it goes!