I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Friday, January 1, 2016

A bit of Spring for the new year....forcing paper whites.

We've been waiting for winter to arrive and now that it's here, we long for a little bit of spring!  Forcing paper whites or narcissus, is a great way to bring the outdoors in.

I bought two dozen bulbs at our local garden center.  After setting some aside for gifts, I found myself looking for containers that would hold water for the rest of the bulbs.  I love the retro look of this Chock full o' Nuts coffee can!
Your container can't have holes in the bottom of it.  Set bulbs in rocks or marbles and add water so the bulb sits in the water.  You can see that one of these bulbs is a bit anxious and has pulled out of the rocks.  I'll add some rocks to the bowl and make sure that the roots stay wet.
While outside at the garden bench looking for containers, I found this pot that I had planted last spring and thanks to our recent warm weather, the bulbs are growing!  These are hyacinth bulbs and I'll be sure to put them in the ground in the spring.
I love the color of this container and it goes well with the greens and the color scheme of the room.
Even a small creamer found in a consignment shop works if you have a bulb small enough to fit in it.
An old mason jar works nicely too.  Tie a ribbon around it and it makes a terrific gift.  Just wrap the jar in a clear cellophane bag and don't water it.  Add a gift tag with directions.
I love the eclectic collection of unique vessels in the window.
To the far left is an amaryllis bulb that I've had for several years.  I've just taken them out from the basement and have started to water them.  I'll keep you posted as to their progress (which is much slower than a paper white).  Narcissus is a member of the amaryllis family.
The bulbs in the striped container were planted first; look at the height!  They'll need to be tied together.  Once they're done blooming, they can be set aside for planting in the spring garden.

An update - My paper whites are doing beautifully and since I started them at different times, they're blooming at all different times!  The house smells so fragrant; reminiscent of the greenhouse we used to visit as children.  Here are some updated photos:

You may also enjoy this previous post about forcing bulbs and specialty forcing vases. 

Update - When your paper whites become too tall, enjoy them on the windowsill in an old bottle or vase.

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