Wednesday, December 12, 2007

"Is Cindy growing onions?"

my house cleaner asked my mother-in-law the other day (she works for both of us). Now, why the hell would I be doing that?? But I am forcing narcissus (paperwhite) bulbs. I do this every year as soon as the bulbs appear at The Gardener .

Some people recommend doing all sorts of nutty things, including refrigerating the bulbs and starting them in a dark place. I've had good luck with the The Gardener's method of just placing them pointy end up on top of stones or gravel in a glass container and filling the container with water up to the base of the bulbs. It's important the bulbs not get wet because they'll start to rot. I place the containers in full sun. The temperature of the location rather than the amount of sun seems to make the difference.

This one, which has rooted the most, is on my bathroom counter, where it is fairly warm.

This one, on the bedroom window sill, is not doing as well. I think it will be fine; it will just bloom later than the other one.

This one, on Sophie's "beauty table," is not doing well at all, probably because we both forgot about it and it did not receive any water. We're on the job now, and it will probably also be fine.

Narcissus are not only beautiful but very fragrant. It's a beautiful way to bring a little springtime inside in the winter months. In another month or so, we'll have something that looks like this:

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