Planting blue Icicle pansies at the base of dusty orange tulips provides a more bracing spring tonic than the usual soft pastels so prevalent at that time of year. A few deep purple hyacinths and the glossy green leaves of Vinca minor fill out the tapestry.
The ‘Prinses Irene’ tulip, an early blooming Triumph tulip, is indispensable. Its fragrant blooms on strong stems are soft orange, streaked with purple flames, a striking combination that’s surprisingly adaptable to many different colour schemes.
Try combining some with orange-and-purple ‘Jolly Joker’ pansies for an even bolder look. Burgundy primroses work well, too.
(Yes, the proper name of this tulip is Prinses, not Princes or Princess, common misspellings in bulb catalogues.)