There are many aesthetic benefits to incorporating bulbs into your pansy plantings, or vice versa. The possibilities are endless, so don’t think what we show here is all you can do. The best part of gardening is it’s YOUR opportunity to express yourself. Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” So think of your garden as a blank canvas: What masterpiece will you create today?
Before you can go out and dig in the dirt, you need a plan. When incorporating bulbs in pansy plantings, there are three main categories: Border Bulbs, Mix-in Bulbs, and Backdrop Bulbs. There are also many different methods of how you plant the bulbs. Do you prefer straight lines and crisp edges? Then you should plant your bulbs in a rectilinear pattern. Do you prefer the modern gardening styles with curved edges? Then you should plant your bulbs in a curvilinear pattern.
Rectilinear Pattern Curvilinear Pattern
These are bulbs that are shorter than pansies. To keep from conflicting with the color display of the pansies, bordering bulbs should be 3-6 inches tall. Varieties of Crocus and Muscari work wonderful when used as a border.
Purple Fiction Blend Crocus Muscari armeniacum
These are bulbs that are of equal height or slightly taller. Bulbs that you mix in with your pansy planting should be at least 8 inches tall but not taller than 14 inches. Shorter varieties of tulips work well when mixed in, as do Hyacinths and Muscari varieties.
Hyacinths Mixture Scarlet Baby Tulip
Bulbs that are taller than pansies are called Backdrop Bulbs. To create an eye-popping backdrop of color, use bulbs that are 10 inches or taller. This would include most any type of bulb you can find in tulips or daffodils, so the possibilities are endless.
Daffodil Large Cupped Mix Blend Prince Mixed Tulip