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Mountain West Regional Reports

Mix It Up: Bulbs and Perennials

Integrate bulbs among your existing perennials for stunning combinations of color and texture

In a naturalistic woodland planting, mix small heirloom daffodils in shades of soft white and pale yellow with mock orange (Philadelphus coronaries ‘Aureus’, Zones 5–9). Photo: Colorblends.com. Design: Jacqueline van der Kloet.

You’ve got a bit of time left to plant some bulbs. There are some imaginative ways to plant spring-blooming bulbs without driving yourself nuts and without the help of a dozen hired helpers.

First, hats off to the queen of bulbs, Jacqueline van der Kloet. JVK is a designer who specializes in planting spring bulbs by integrating them with existing perennials. You may have seen her work featured in magazines: the long blue spring border at Martha Stewart’s garden or the Seasonal Walk at the New York Botanical Gardens. This technique is brilliant and so much easier than emptying a flower bed, planting a thousand bulbs, and standing back to wait for them to bloom. Most of us don’t have that kind of garden real estate. Consider the colors of the existing perennials and their bloom or leaf times, and then add pops of daffodils, tulips, or other spring…

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