Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I buy a shocking amount of bulbs every Fall. This year alone I bought a few hundred Tulips, daffodil and Frittilia bulbs.

Daffodils, for the most part, come back year after year, so after 16 years of planting at least 50 or more daffodils a year, my yard is starting to look pretty spectacular in early Spring. I can look out just about any window of my house and see hundreds of yellow blooms lighting up the landscape every April and May (and in some warm years March).

I just love Tulips. I think I would have succombed to Tulipmania had I been alive in Holland in the 17th Century, but I have to admit they are a bit of a bother. First of all, they're pretty much annuals so they have to be replanted year after year. Sometimes you get a few additional years out of a particular single bulb, but you don't get the mass planting of tulips which is really what tulip planting is all about.

Deer are another problem were tulips are concerned. Tulips are apparently the equivalent to Easter Candy for the deer. Just as they are about to bloom into a glorious profusion of color, the deer will come along and wipe out every one. I have to start spraying my tulips with deer repellent every year as soon as they start to pop out of the ground.

Chipmunks are another problem. Tulip bulbs are to chipmunks what truffles are to pigs--underground morsels of delight. I have to spread copious amounts of garlic powder over all my tulip plantings to thwart the chipmunks from eating them.

But despite the extra work, I think tulips are worth the effort. I plant various shades of pink tulips every year in my main garden beds. In the area fronting the herb garden I plant red and white Rembrandt style tulips, and in the beds facing the walk to the house I plant alternative groupings of white and black tulips.

In addition to tulips and daffodils I also plant various other bulbs every year, including hyacinths, Frittillia, crocus, alliums and other major and minor bulbs.

What does this have to do with weight loss and maintenance? Well, as I've repeatedly said in this country we focus too much on exercise and not enough on just plain old moving.

I may not be working up a sweat gardening (although I still get plenty dirty), but I'm burning anywhere between 200 and 275 calories an hour, depending on how intense I'm doing it.

So, by spending approximately six hours every year planting bulbs, I'm burning anywhere between 1,200 and 1,650 calories.

And, I get a spectacular display every Spring for my efforts.


  1. And squirrels, drat their beady little hearts.

    Plus, the spectacular display makes you feel good, so you're less likely to eat because you're in a bad mood.
    (Unless you're the type who eats more when they're in a good mood, in which case you're in trouble.)