Consider your needs, your preferences and your light and moisture conditions then audition a variety of ideas to find planter designs perfect for your back yard. You can make your back yard a relaxing oasis of fruit trees, twirling vines, veggies and vibrant tropical blooms when you design a container garden that showcases each plant's assets and makes a visually appealing setting for your lawn furniture. An advantage of using planters in your back yard is that you can bring some non-hardy trees indoors for the winter months; place these planters on rolling castors before planting them to make transporting them easier.
Create islands in your back yard by grouping planters with the tallest pots and plants in the center and building outward with shorter plants, placing the shortest varieties in the outermost ring. With the focal point of a potted palm tree or a fragrant orange blossom, you may be inspired to create a planter design much as you would a flower arrangement, adding colors and textures to enhance and contrast the design as you go along. A rule of thumb is to grow plants together that originate in the same region. Poppies and lavender are natural companions; moonflowers look great with begonias.
Nothing is more exciting than eating fresh vegetables and fruits from your own back yard garden. Build planters to house a mix of edible and ornamental plants for an outstanding looking and highly functional space. Try planters as tall as 4 feet filled with mixes of corn, tomatoes, sunflowers, zinnias, parsley, thyme, marigolds -- anything you would plant in the in-ground vegetable garden works great in a raised bed. Mixing in flowers to attract pollinators and maintain visual interest when the vegetables are not yet formed gives you a lot of color and design choices to play with.
There are no wrong answers in back yard garden design, so pick plants you love and try them in combinations that you think will look good. If you don't like them, you can always transplant.