Combination conundrums – the ones that work and the ones that maybe don’t !

30 Apr


With hundreds of different varieties of tulips available these days , the permutations are endless and endlessly confusing !

So with all the tulips in full flower it’s time to assess this years combinations and look at the hits and misses..

First up is an old favourite – Havran + Princess Irene + Coleur Cardinal


This is a very bold, challenging, contrasting combo, which won’t suit everyone and works best where you can appreciate the overall effect as in the first photo. In one bed where I planted this selection I spaced them too far apart and the effect is lost – don’t approach this combination timidly – go bold or go home !

A slightly more subtle approach to the burgundy / orange mix is – Ronaldo + Artist + Raspberry Ripple



The green flashes on the Artist soften the orange and they’re a beautiful shape. Like many of the Viridiflora tulips it’s also quite a long lived tulip, coming up reliably year after year.

A classic combination – Queen of Night + Purissima


A really classy pairing – similar shaped tulips but contrasting colours. Another long lived tulip too. The colour story continues with the beautiful purple Heuchera Plum Pudding.

A new combination that’s really pleasing me – Anthraceit + Raspberry Ripple + Flaming Spring Green


The same colour runs thru all three of these tulips but they’re different shapes and the ripple looks amazing !

Another classy variation – Black Parrot + Spring Green


This is a great selection for cutting – you’re never going to find these colours in the supermarket !

An oldie but a goodie – Ballerina + Havran


The lily shaped tulip Ballerina is a classic and just goes perfectly with dark blackcurrant Havran.

And two combinations I’m not sure worked –

Purissima + China Pink


Nothing really wrong with it – but I don’t think they enhance each other.

Rai + Havran


I was really excited about this parrot Rai, but the colour is a bit dingy and lilac – the shapes great but the colour doesn’t work for me.

And whilst we’re looking at planting combinations , how about these tulip/herbaceous mixes-

Tulip Ballerina + Euphorbia Oblongata


Tulip Havran + peony


If all this talk of carefully chosen combinations bring you out in a cold sweat, then don’t worry – just throw them all in together and see what you get – which is what happened below – and doesn’t it look fabulous !!


One Response to “Combination conundrums – the ones that work and the ones that maybe don’t !”

  1. Julie Alexander January 18, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

    Just wanted to say how much I’ve enjoyed looking at all your tulips!!! Fabulous! I agree that all the tulips thrown together look fantastic!- think this is because there are so many and it’s such a mass of wonderful colour. Found your page on the internet trying to find out whether my tulips really are Flaming Spring Green as they are supposed to be- look more like your Raspberry Ripple, or somewhere inbetween! Mine have no green on them and are yellows in the middle, red and white striped on the outside- not quite like your Flaming Spring Green, so am a little mystified!

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