Containers can be quite the investment. When purchasing your flower containers, consider what they will look like on your porch or deck. Are they in correct proportion to the area where they'll be placed? I can see the empty look on your face...."What the heck is she talking about?" Here's an example.
So now I know I need tall, black containers. The internet is a great way to research your containers. http://www.planterdesigns.com is a great site for getting ideas for your containers. Visit your local department stores or nurseries as well. I shopped all of Omaha (seriously) and found the tallest black containers I could find at a local nursery. (I still wished they could have been taller but I found a creative way to address that. We'll talk about that idea next time.) They were certainly an investment, but should last a very long time. Make sure your container provides for good drainage for your plant. In over-sized containers, use something to fill the containers in the bottom (I used large chunks of styrofoam) and the put dirt over that. It still allows for drainage but keeps the containers from being so heavy and cuts down on cost.
Explore colors and sizes. Which fit best in your scenario? Tall? Average? Black? Gray? Terra Cotta? Round? Square? You see, there are so many choices and this is something you can purchase now even before it's time to plant your flowers. If you purchase metal containers like I did, it's a good idea to spray paint them each year with a rust protective paint. It enhances the container, plus helps you keep them for a very long time.
So put some thought into your containers. Start planning for spring time. Look at magazines and the internet for fabulous ideas. You're gonna love what you find!