According to the international garden designer and bulbs specialist, Jacqueline van der Kloet, “Bulbs don’t need to overpower the spring landscape to have an impact. If we make the planting more natural-looking, with interesting combinations of color and texture, it adds dimension, which is more sophisticated and ultimately more powerful.” The great news is that there is a cornucopia of choice in bulbs in terms of flower colors, silhouettes, sizes, blooming periods. But it can be a bit overwhelming. Assembled below are some helpful tips on how to effectively use bulbs.

Design Tips

Always plant low-growing bulbs in front of taller plants.

Hyacinthus 'Carnegie',Muscari armeniacum

Hyacinth & Muscari

Plant your bulbs in groups for more striking effects and avoid planting them on a stand alone basis

Tulipa 'Aladdin',Tulipa 'Ballerina',Tulipa 'West Point'

Tulips 'Aladdin', 'Ballerina' & 'West Point'

For a natural look, scatter bulbs throughout your lawn.

Tulip 'Beauty Queen',Tulip 'Negrita',Tulipa 'Cassini',Tulipa 'Christmas Marvel',Tulipa 'Pink Impression'

Tulips 'Beauty Queen', 'Negrita', 'Cassini', 'Christmas Marvel' & 'Pink Impression'

Alternatively, if you like more formal gardens, you could plant them in narrow lines to create stripes or narrow flower carpets.

Anemone blanda White Splendour,Chionodoxa forbesii,Muscari azureum 'Album'

Chionodoxa Forbesii, Muscari Azureum, Anemone Blanda Blue Shades

For a bouquet effect, plant them in circular groupings.

Hyacinthus 'Blue Festival',Hyacinthus Pink Festival,Muscari armeniacum 'Lady Blue'

Hyacinths 'Blue Festival' & 'Pink Festival', Muscari Armeniacum 'Lady Blue'

Perfume your garden almost all year around with the delightful fragrances generously offered by many bulbs. Enjoy in spring the scent of the hyacinths, bluebells or of some daffodils. In summer, those of the delicate oriental or longiflorum lilies and in fall, profit from the fragrant crinum x powelli.

Allium senescens,Dahlia Ferncliff Illusion,Dahlia Marble Ball,Zantedeschia Picasso?

Allium senescens, Dahlia 'Ferncliff Illusion', Dahlia 'Marble Ball', Zantedeschia 'Picasso®'

Use pots or containers to add color and create eye catching seasonal displays.

Hyacinthus Blue Festival,Tulipa 'Calgary?',Viola

Hyacinth 'Blue Festival', Tulip 'Calgary', Viola

Introduce the exotic with the impressive and vibrant cannas, either in the ground if weather permits, or in containers.

Canna Brilliant

Canna 'Brilliant'

If you can't buy the requisite number of bulbs to create a color impact, plant them in a triangle pattern. This will give the impression that you have more flowers than those you have actually planted.

Finally, if you’d like your tulip garden to look more like Jacqueline’s, try her signature “sprinkling” which means taking handfuls of bulbs and gently tossing onto the ground, to be planted where they fall.

Landscape design, Garden ideas, Bulbs

Tea garden of Jacqueline van der Kloet

If after these few tips, you are still unsure as to what to do with your garden or patio, why don't you browse through our collection of planting ideas and flowers combinations?