There comes a time when you realize that people are coming over and you have done nothing of what you had planned for you garden. You would like to have plants. You do not have time to spend planting and arranging. So you rely on this idea from the UK's Homes and Gardens:
Simply go to OSH or your local garden supply and purchase flats of plants. Choose plants that you would ultimately like to plant, so that it's not a waste, and choose a couple of different colors so that you can lay out some plant color blocks on your deck or balcony. It will add a graphic bunch to an otherwise barren (or simply overlooked area) and it takes almost no work. As a bonus, you could give away some of the plants to guests when they leave, or just incorporate them into your containers and your garden in the following couple of weeks. If you've got a neighbor, you could always split the cost by going halfsies.
(Image: British Homes and Gardens)