Spring flowering bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths, are a popular addition to gardens and landscapes due to their vibrant colours and early blooming time. These bulbs can look even more spectacular when they are planted alongside other plants that bloom at the same time.
By combining different types of spring-blooming plants, you can create a beautiful tapestry of colours and textures that will add interest and depth to your garden. Planting bulbs with other flowers with complementary colours or contrasting textures can also help create a more harmonious and visually appealing display. Here are some fabulous combinations:
Tulips and forget-me-nots
Bright pink and red tulips go with everything, though an underplanting of pale blue forget-me-nots will lift them to superstar status. Forget-me-nots (Myosotis sylvatica) are perennial flowers that come back every year. These delicate, blue (sometimes pink) flowers are easy to grow and care for and will readily self-seed to create a natural-looking display. They prefer moist soil and partial shade but can tolerate various growing conditions.
Daffodils and birch trees
Most daffodils bloom before the birch trees leaf out, so the landscape shines when the masses of golden-yellow blooms are set among the silver-white birch bark. It’s a breathtaking combination to stumble upon in a naturalized area!
Alliums and plume poppies
The scale of the giant purple heads of alliums (an ornamental bulb in the onion family that comes
in different heights and flower sizes) planted among the large intricate leaves of the plume poppy (Macleaya cordata) is magnificent. The fact that small yellow flowers appear on the plume poppies at the same time the alliums bloom is a bonus.
Note: Before you grow plume poppy, check around to see how easily controlled it is in your area — it does have a tendency to spread quickly.
Purple Fritillaria meleagris with white Fritillaria meleagris in a wild grassy patch
These flowers attract attention for their delicate shape and unique checked pattern. When the nodding flowers are mass planted in a meadow or a rock garden bed, they are showstopping.
Crocus and snow
Colourful early-blooming crocus flowers poke through the snow to provide cheery colour when it’s most welcome. They come in a range of colours, including shades of purple, lavender, white, yellow, and even bi-colour varieties. Whether planted in clusters or drifts, these cheery flowers make a stunning display and are often one of the first signs of spring.
Planting different types of flowers together can help to extend the blooming season, providing a longer-lasting burst of colour and fragrance for you to enjoy. Find the top 16 native plants for your garden here.
Jennifer Reynolds, our previous Editor-in-Chief, is a long-time authority in gardening, do-it-yourself projects, urban sustainability, parenting, placemaking and community matters. Her features and columns have been published in Canadian Living, Canadian Family, Gardening Life, House & Home, Globe & Mail, National Post, Toronto Star & more. Plus, her designs and expertise have been featured on dozens of HGTV, W Network and CTV shows.