Plant lilies in containers and you'll be able to enjoy their magnificent display up close next summer, including that heady, intoxicating perfume. Growing these spectacular flowers in pots is a great technique for making the most of their many fine qualities: drop them, pot and all, into gaps in the border just as they're about to flower, or move them right by the back door where you'll get the full force of the scent as you leave the house.
You can plant just about any lily in a container, though look out for specially-bred shorter varieties now in stock in our garden centre such as 'Apollo', 'Cote d'Azur' and the really tiny 'Pixie' series.
Choose a tall pot so your bulbs can have the long root run they prefer (you'll find a good selection of 'long toms', as they're called, in our garden centre). Three or four bulbs fit into a 25cm diameter container, though a single bulb of larger cultivars fills the whole pot.
Space the bulbs 5cm apart, with the scales pointing upwards, and cover with good-quality multipurpose compost (highly-scented Oriental lilies need specialist ericaceous compost), along with a handful of slow-release granular fertiliser such as Osmocote. Water well and look forward to next year's breathtaking display.