Bulbs flower at a time of year when colour is needed, just before most perennials take up the room. When I plant bulbs with perennials, I plant them ‘in the green’ – this means planting them when they’re in growth. I pot them up now before planting out in spring. By doing this I can really understand how they will look. Although they are fantastic in bloom, the foliage will leave a tatty legacy that should not be removed for six weeks after flowering; but that is where the perennials come in to play by covering that foliage.