Summer containers can be started from bulbs, or many may be purchased as bedding or container plants at garden centres. Pineapple lilies: with its fabulous pineapple look-a-like tuft a top a 40 cm spire of tiny greenish-white flowers and base of broad green strappy leaves, the eucomis bicolor is a tropical plant extraordinaire. For the most outrageous effect, plant an odd number of bulbs in a large pot or barrel. The plants bloom in july and august, retaining an interesting look after flowering. Place in full sun or light shade. Cannas: for non-stop flowers from july till frost, try canna with its distinctive tropical foliage of large brown or green leaves and gigantic red, orange, pink or yellow flowers. Cannas grow wild along country roads throughout the mediterranean region — but find life in a pot (or summer garden) in america enjoyable too! To plant the canna root, lay it on its side, bury one-inch deep in the soil. Cannas love full sun and hot weather. All those lilies: what a surprise! Elegant cultured lilies love to get potted! Most perform to their utmost in containers, the larger the better. No other flower is so divinely showy and impressive. For a container 25 cm wide, plant three lilies, positioning each about four-inches below the soil surface. The early- to mid-summer blooming asiatic lilies do well, as do the later-blooming orientals. Full sun or partial shade. Lilies of the nile: agapanthus is a brilliant blue flowering plant found along the nile. It’s definitely exotic — definitely a must for a container garden! The flowers cluster atop three-foot stems, towering above a whorl of bright green blade-like leaves. Best in a large container (one to three bulbs per container). In colder areas, protect the container over winter, the agapanthus will return to bloom even more next year. Peak bloom: mid-summer to early fall. Full sun to partial shade.