It's a record. More bulbs per hour than ever before. I haven't worked out the bulb/m2 ratio or bulb per minute work rate or total number of bulbs planted, but the figures are pretty spectacular compared to previous years, especially as this was me planting on my own.
It's not because I've suddenly developed amazing muscles or have a secret assistant or am on performance enhancing drugs, it's because we now have raised beds in the 'triangle'. We timed it so that they would be built to coincide with tulip-planting, and yesterday the beds were half-filled, leaving a lovely, level expanse of surface for the bulbs to go on before they get covered with six inches of soil. It couldn't be easier; I empty the bags of bulbs, set them out, note the planting order on a plan, and so on until the bed is filled. No back-breaking digging or filling, just pleasant, repetitive lining-up and sorting stuff, the kind children do with toy cars and Playmobil, only on a slightly larger scale.
This morning I planted the larger raised bed in two hours, and am tempted to leave it exposed and as it is for a couple of days just so I can admire the fruits of my labour. However, the soil goes over later, and I move onto the next bed in the morning.
And that time even included a tea break.