Posted by: chlost | November 6, 2011

The price of flowers

I am barely able to move my fingers to type today. Don’t even think of asking me to walk anywhere. I can barely stand. My back screams in pain with every movement.  And it is all the result of yesterday’s eighty.

Eighty tulip bulbs.

That’s right. Yesterday I planted eighty tulip bulbs as well as another dozen other flower bulbs.

It is November in the northern U.S.  It is crazy to plant anything right now, even those plants that will not grow for the next 6 months.

At Halloween, reading the news of the east coast storm, I realized that soon the snow will hit here and it will be several months before there is any chance of seeing color. One of the worst things about a long winter is that you do not have color, just a white and black landscape. By March, I crave outdoor color.  Tulips are some of the earliest blooming plants, so I decided to take a chance and plant them even if it is  late in the season.

The problem is, they came in bags of 40 bulbs. There were only two colors, yellow and red. These are the old-style colors for tulips. These are the kind my  mom had when I was growing up. I don’t want to see only one color flowers next spring, I want to see a whole color palette. I bought both bags of tulips and another flower as well.

If all goes well, next spring I will have three colors. The third bag of bulbs were for purple flowers.

I brought the three bags of spring hope to the backyard, trowel in hand. It was not long before I realized that it would take until the snow falls to plant that many bulbs one by one. This called for more drastic measures.

I brought out the shovel. I dug a six-inch trench along the back edge of the garden. I planted the rest of the bulbs there. Hopefully, there will be a bright smile of color next spring.

To those of you who work out at the gym, this may not seem like much. But I am a slug. I spend my days attached to a computer terminal. I allow Husband to handle the heavy lifting around here. Husband was at work. Yesterday was the last nice day forecast for this fall. I was on my own.

Today I can barely move.  There is a price to be paid for everything.




  1. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh my!!!! I hope you didn’t pop a disc — been there; done that; had the surgery. A heating pad and your favorite anti-inflammatory will help. We tall gals, as my back surgeon (the best one on the planet) said back problems are the price we pay for being for being statuesque. I hope this helps a little. Keep us posted.

    • Yes, the Advil bottle is always by my side.

  2. May I recommend a purchase of a “Tug Toner” before next year’s planting? It may do wonders to help your planting stamina….. 🙂 Go ahead…. throw something at me….. 🙂

    • You’d better duck and cover…… 🙂

    • Ohmygod, I sent that to everyone I know, even my former 5th grade teacher.

  3. OK, I also, pay the price for gardening: $15 an hour to Jorge.

  4. Just thinking of digging for that many bulbs and I am sore all over. You are an intrepid woman and must have a great urge to see color in your garden. I hope they will flower well for you and that you will take many photos.

    • I am sort of looking forward to winter now, just wondering what the spring will bring!

  5. About the only thing I miss from gardening is the bright colors in the spring. When I planted my bulb garden I also used a shovel, that’s what my gardening book told me to do, remove 6 inches of soil, place all the bulbs where you want and then cover them up. I also planted crocuses, only 3 inches for them and they bloom earlier than tulips, sometimes right through the snow.

    • That is exactly how my tulips are planted. They didn’t have crocus, or I would have bought some for the earliest possible bloom.

  6. My knees hurt just reading about it! Winter as you describe it explains why we have so many Minnesota license plates in Arizona October through April!

    I hope your efforts pay off in some bright colors this spring. I’d love to see pictures 🙂

    • Yes, there are many in this area that are down there with you throughout the cold months. Most of the time they make it through the holidays. They abandon you in the hot months, though.

  7. You will NOT regret it.

    • We’ll see if they can survive the cold, snow and moles.

  8. Ugh … I hope your back is doing a little better. I can’t imagine how sore I’d be planting that many bulbs! *hugs*

    • Thanks-I’m back to full power, such that it is.

  9. A friend’s dad once paid 6 of us university students to rake their entire acreage. My goodness! It took about 6 of us 6 hours. He later told her that only one of us would ever be hired back. I couldn’t move properly for 4 days and I was 19. I’m sure you did a bang up job on your trench and the pain will be a faded memory in Spring!

    • When I was younger, I would get sore, but my recovery time was so much shorter. I am truly hoping for the colorful spring as payment for my pain!

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