The location, i.e. sun exposure, whether it gets regular rain or needs irrigation, size of the container, what it's made of, etc., all would have a bearing on how much care a plant living in it would need. Can you provide this information? Sometimes the design of the container can play into the amount of care the plant might need, as well. Plants that flower generally require more care than those that do not, IMO.
Also, "a lot of work" is rather subjective. Are we talking about simply watering the plants, or having to prune them, deadhead flowers, and so on?
Small evergreen shrubs are pretty much carefree, IMO, but they need regular watering, especially if the container is made of absorbent material like brick or cement.
"Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?" - Douglas Adams