You want to plant your bulbs when the GROUND is 57 degrees. Before I plant I take out the old summer plants, dig out any bulbs that are old from the year before. I have made a map of where what bulbs were planted where. I then take several weeks to reintroduce organic dirt and worm casings that I buy from the garden center. I overturn and rake the dirt everyday for a couple of weeks. I then let the dirt settle for a week before I start planting.
Once I do start planting, I make a map and design of where the bulbs should go according to the height of the bulb, and according to the time it might bloom; early, mid, or late Spring. I don't usually pay that much attention to colour schemes, but that would be nice to do as well. The extra planning will make a huge difference in how your garden looks when the bulbs start to shoot up. Once that is figured out I take little heed to the directions on the packaging as to how to plant the bulb. For instance, daffodils I have found, do just fine when placed next to each other in a dug out hole. Tulips need some room to expand and grow during the Winder, but keep in mind how it might look in the Spring when they come up. You don't want a large gap in between each flower. Lastly, just as an added colour boost. I always plant pansies around the bulbs. The pansies make your garden look pretty the rest of the fall, and they keep their color as they go dormant under the mounds of snow that may fall. When the snow has melted, it is nice to see a show of pansy colour before you bulbs shoot up. Have fun with your bulb hunting. Keep in mind their are wonderful rare varieties of tulips and daffodils out there. Your friends and neighbors will be delighted as much as you will be when the big show arrives!