For the past 8 years or so, I have been filling up pots with tulips at the same time I do my October in-ground bulb plantings. Species tulips and other small bulbs like erythronium go in the ground, and the big hybrid tulips go into pots and a couple circular raised beds I installed specifically for tulips and annuals. I have no problem composting the tulips when I’m done—the show is always best the first year, and they only return reliably for maybe two years, especially in my shady front yard. It’s fun to choose different colors every year.
This year, it’s Prinses Irene and Christmas Orange, with some Orange Princess and Black Hero (both doubles) thrown in.
In the raised beds (above) I have Temples favorite, which I think might also go under the name Temple of Beauty. These, combined with all the species varieties I have, make a great spring show and provide the last burst of color I’ll see out here—once the maples leaf out, I’m done. I guess many might see this as wasteful, high-maintenance gardening but it’s the most fun I have all year. Making my perennials do what I want them to do–now that’s work.