I know everyone has been waiting with juicy anticipation on the outcome of the planters, so here we go!
The landscaper finally installed the last piece of the puzzle: the white metal planter, but it was not without its glitches. When the crew first installed it, they put it in the wrong place:
I hate making people do stuff over again, and sometimes mistakes turn out to be fortunate, but this wasn't one of those times: we needed sliding volumes here. So after a quick phone call and a quick friendly agreement to slide the planter, a week later the planter was moved.
I didn't push on replacing the pavers so we could see if (1) they did it on their own or (2) if they didn't, what it looked like without pavers. They did Option (2) and we felt it looked fine (and perhaps even better) without pavers.
So there you have it: planters planted in the back patio!
Our only regret is that we didn't do this when the house was getting built (make note those of you building): it would have cost less and we would have had and enjoyed them from the get-go. The planters really finish out the space and cozy it up.