I snatched this planter for 12 bucks at a resale shop. These are typically a $50 container. Check Home Goods for great deals in their garden department.
The technique I borrowed from is called Ikebana.
Last winter I went to the Detroit Institute Of Art and attended a seminar on Japanese floral arranging. They had some really good tips on how to break from exact symmetry for creative displays. Using three main focal points, heaven (high, straight up and down), man (middle, off center) and earth (low, sideways), I chose pieces from my garden and brought them all together with a few accents (I am not a simple girl – I like lush, I like busy).
I really like how it came out! The fern is thriving and (TIP!) flowers that are too leggy on the ground (such as pansies bought and planted early) hang over a pot nicely.