Design Themes - Ballerinas

Nothing complements perennial borders better then flower bulbs. They add much needed color and shape while most other plants are just starting. A classic combination, the inter-planting of daylilies with daffodils, a nearly perfect partnership of utility and beauty, can be enjoyed along many interstates.

In recent years a many fold of other combinations have been tested by adding bulbs to established perennial borders around the country. The best performing and most pleasing ones are reviewed under the link Best Tulip and Perennial Combinations. This site also has great pictures on how combinations develop over time.

Tulips, in contrast to Daffodils and most specialty bulbs, have little stamina in the long run. For formal looking exhibition beds and mass plantings they should be handled as an annual. In a perennial border the gradual decline in flowering capacity of established tulips is less disturbing. Good perennial companions also help to hide or blend away the unsightly senescing bulb foliage.

Add tulips around these perennials in variable spaced groupings of 40-60 bulbs of one color covering 2-3 sq yards. Let them evolve from bold colored patches the first year into scattered, naturallooking high lights in following years. They will look like dancing ballerinas tip toeing through the border.

Species tulips are quite particular in their growing preferences. In cold and moderate climate zones they do not naturalize as rapidly as one would expect. The taller and bolder species like Linifolia (* shown below among Hostas) and the Batalini and Clusiana types are worthy elements to create an uncultivated natural look.

The most spectacular results are obtained with the best and more vigorous tulip varieties listed next. These varieties proved to bloom several years in a row when left undisturbed in earlier trials around the country. Let their great colors complement, contrast or echo with your perennial color scheme.

Don't forget the special featured tulips with intriguing effects. These tulips with variegated foliage or greenish veined flowers, like the Viridiflora, are an added value to any perennial border

Best Tulip and Perennial Combinations

Design Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennialsDesign Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennials
Design Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennials Design Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennials Design Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennials Design Themes - Ballerinas, tulips among perennials