I select reliable and recommended varieties and under plant them in generous drifts to create impact and a successional effect. A good rule of thumb is to have a limited amount of species but in a large quantity to get impact.
Spring bulbs – planted in autumn
Mini Daffodils such as Narcissus tete a tete are popular for a good reason too – 15cm tall, robust splashes of colour. Good on banks and in pots.
For meadow areas, naturalising daffodils (which will seed and spread over time) Narcissus recurvus, around 40cm tall. A tastefully pale flower with a pheasants eye centre is good for pollinators.
For maximum colour options – tulips are the ‘go to’, however not all tulips will reliably come back each year so I tend to group them in small beds or containers which can be positioned and retrieved. Tulips like sun and warmth. I often mix 2 colours together and repeat the clumps around the garden. Tip; Later tulips are less likely to get weather beaten if you’re choosing for an exposed site.
Summer bulbs ( also planted in autumn)
Alliums – I use the drumstick allium – The almost unpronouncable Allium sphaerocephalon. (50cm tall) In generous drifts through grasses and sedums and asters – the bees love this one! It will set seed and naturalise too.
Also Allium atropurpureum, at 80cm tall, is elegant and dark coloured – perfect for planting through taller perrenials.
Camassia around 60cm tall – I describe this as being like a giant bluebell, Excellent in borders