October 19th, 2011
The letter this week is N
N stands for Narcissus, and in particular for Narcissus Tazetta, or Paper Whites
A tradition at our house at Christmas, but it is always a problem to remember to buy them,
and then to remember to plant those lovely fat brown bulbs at just the right time, so they will be in their full glory at Christmas time.
Last week, when we were in Penticton, I went searching for paperwhite narcissus, but I was too early to find them on the shelves. However, they did have them in the back room, and now a couple of dozen are sitting in a cool place in the fridge, waiting for the time to gather the pots and the small stones, put them where the light will encouraged them, and wait for the wonderful fragrant purity of the flower.
Three weeks before Christmas should have them blooming on schedule.
One of the problems with paperwhites is their tendency to grow tall and graceful, - so graceful that they often fall over and have to be tied up with stray bits of Christmas ribbon.
I read now that adding a weak solution of alcohol to the water in the pots will somewhat stunt the height of the plants without affecting the blooms, and I think I might try this with a few bulbs.
Directions for doing this can be found here.
For more interpretations of the letter N go here, to ABC Wednesday, and say thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her kind helpers.