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Conceal: Place a potted plant in front of a hose, air-conditioning unit or other garden eyesore.
Direct traffic: By bookending a doorway, single potted trees can help lead people into the house.
Potted amaryllis and other flowers make wonderful last-minute gifts
If growing plants in the backyard gives you some sense of psychic liberation, since - regardless of your station in life - you are at least in charge of what happens there, growing plants in containers may provide an inordinate boost to your mental health, because you alone will determine the fate of your chosen potted specimens.
Having been disillusioned in marriage or in child-rearing, having failed to reach career goals or amass a fortune, a container gardener can point with pride, to a potted rose, hibiscus or begonia that has flowered on cue for several years.
Potted plants, on the other hand, are nearly always protected from the elements and, even when they aren't, may be personally saved by you - by putting them under an overhang, shadecloth or clear plastic - at the first rumor of a storm.