Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Gardening - Paperwhites

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Perhaps no flower brings a more beautiful smell to the Christmas holiday than a paperwhite. They're quick-growing, gorgeous to look at, and absolutely wonderful to smell. If you're going to plant them, plant them in bulk. One bulb is beautiful, but nine or ten are sublime. After planting the bulbs with 3/4ths submerged into some good-quality soil, just add water and stand back. In just a week or two you'll have plants that are 6-12 inches tall:
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Within another week, you'll have buds forming:
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And a week or so later you'll have blooming plants standing 24 inches tall. When they begin to bloom, they get top-heavy and begin to droop; just construct a simple frame around them to hold them upright (the one in the picture took four twigs from the yard and about 15 minutes to make) and they'll stand tall:
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From there, enjoy the blooms:
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As a side note, researchers at Cornell University discovered that if you want smaller paperwhites that don't sag, you can simply water them with a solution containing 5% alcohol (they like the hard stuff--vodka, rubbing alcohol, etc. - no beer!), which will retard the growth. We happen to like the drama of the taller plants, but to each his own. Merry Christmas to all!

3 comments:

Coty Farquhar said...

Dearest Allen and Cheryl,
Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Christmas and may 2010 be a year of filled with Health and Happiness. I'm sure Christmas will be amazing with all your grandchildren this year.

Your images are breathtaking and oh my goodness, the wreaths and the trees below are so beautiful. I would love to have a large home with big rooms to display a beautiful tree that you can actually walk around.

Sorry I haven't been to visit as much as I would like, Andrew and I have been working away trying to stay on top of things these last months, but I wanted to drop over to see you both and your blog before Christmas. Hopefully in January I will have some lovely free days to stop and read through everyone's blogs.

xxx Coty

Anonymous said...

I love paper whites. I've never smelled a paper white before but I would love too.

-Zane of ontario honey

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