Resist the temptation to plant tulips in a long, single row. They look best planted in informal groups of 5 to 11, or as a block of color with 20 or more bulbs planted just a few inches apart. Plant each variety in a block unto itself, positioned next to a contrasting or complementary color. Or combine several colors together and plant your own unique mix. Choose varieties with different flowering times to extend the bloom season.
Tulips look great planted in combination with annual and perennial flowers. Try planting tulips with annuals such as pansies, forget-me-nots, and allysum. Early flowering perennials such as bleeding heart (Dicentra), basket-of-gold (Aurinia), and columbine also match up well with tulips. Other spring flowering bulbs such as muscari, scilla, and fritillaries will add contrast and stretch the bloom season in the bulb bed. (source: Dutch Gardens)