Keep your planting schemes simple and do not try to mix too many different varieties. Opt for just two ot three that will bloom in succession to give a long season of color. One variety to a pot often looks best of all. You can juxtapose the containers for their color combinations after planting.
Fairly shallow containers with wide tops look great with low-growing spring bulbs such as crocuses and scillas. Taller containers can take taller stemmed plants such as daffodils and tulips. A long-lasting and attractive display can be made with crocuses and iris together with later-flowering tulips and daffodils in a container deep enough to take two levels of bulbs.
Plant the tulips and daffodils at the lowest level. The satiny, almost black tulip, ‘Queen of the Night’, or a group of elegant lily-flowered tulips such as the snowy ‘White Triumphator’ are good container bulbs. For daffodils you could try ‘Minnow’, which has delicate creamy yellow flowers, two to four on a stem. ‘Havera’, with pretty yellow heads, is one of the latest-flowering daffodils.
Plant Iris reticulata and early crocuses higher up in the compost – when these die down, their leaves will not ne noticed because the interest will have moved to the daffodils and tulips. These tiny irises have an upright habit and long slender leaves and look very good grown on their own in pots, although their season is not very long.
Wallflowers (Cheiranthus cheiri) have the most wonderful scent in the late spring garden. Grow them with tulips and daffodils for a rich tapestry of colors. Tulips also look good underplanted with forget-me-nots, scillas and grape hyacinths.
Polyanthus are excellent contenders for pots, too. Plant them with pansies or small trumpet daffodils and grape hyacinths. Their colors are wonderful. You can grow the whole palette of colors together, or try the blues and pinks and so on. Double daisies make good perimeter plants and associate well with forget-me-nots, wallflowers and pansies.
Daffodils and pansies
Tulips ‘Queen of the Night’
Wallflowers with tulips