Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ABC Wednesday
October 19th, 2011

The letter this week is N

N stands for Narcissus, and in particular for Narcissus Tazetta, or Paper Whites


paperwhites-teal-Miriam Schulman

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.

18 comments:

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Ah ha -- that's the first time ever I've heard of being TOO graceful! Can I use that as an excuse next time I trip and fall-- just too tall and graceful? Nope, probably not.

That's a lovely Christmas tradition and they must be absolutely beautiful (stunted by alcohol or not)>

Anna said...

Now I knew that there was something that I forgot when I was bulb shopping! They have such beautiful flowers and such a nice scent too. Now I have the perfect excuse to go back to the garden centre :)

Scriptor Senex said...

I love the painting. Good luck for your Christmas paper-whites.

Kay L. Davies said...

What a wonderful Christmas tradition that must be, Hildred. I'm sure they're gorgeous.

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie’s Guide to Adventurous Travel

Gigi Ann said...

Oh, I hope those little drunk Narcissus enjoy their Holiday.

Roy Schulze said...

Oh dear. As everything is beginning to shut down here for the winter, this reminds me how far away the next spring is. So, maybe it is time to think about bringing a little of it indoors. My ABC Wednesday this week is Neil Armstrong.

Roger Owen Green said...

that is a beautiful watercolor.
ROG, ABC wednesday team

ChrisJ said...

I didn't know narcissus could bloom at Christmas. But then there's a lot I don't know about growing things. Your painting is beautiful.

Amy Belway's life said...

Hello my name is Amy Belway who will be go to visit you soon with my husband Cameron Belway. Now my mother-in-law is sitting beside me and sharing your blog with me with great delight.

Below sentences are all from your daughter Dale.

Mom,

It is so wonderful to read such sensitive and lyrical mind paintings. This is my first time bloging, I did not know what I was missing. We are planing a short visit very soon becasue Cam and Amy are heading back to Vancouver on Saturday.

with great love

Dale

jabblog said...

Boozy paper whites? I love these flowers and they always grow too tall and never bloom in time for Christmas but they're so fragrant and pretty that I really don't mind:-)

Reader Wil said...

I had the same problem with paperwhites but it might be a good idea to add a weak solution of alcohol to the water! Thank you for the advice!

Meryl Jaffe, PhD said...

Beautiful in photo and in watercolor!

The Weaver of Grass said...

I am interested to see that you put them in the fridge Hildred. Here we would have already planted them in their containers and they would be buried under compost out in the garden somewhere, to be brought in about a month before Christmas.

Gattina said...

To me Christmas seem so far away and I prefer not to think about it, although the shops start with Christmas decoration, crazy !
Your painting is beautiful !

chubskulit said...

Interesting!

Nostalgic, is one of my ABC entries. Come by any time you get a chance. Have a great day!

Hildred and Charles said...

Pat - what a good way of preparing the paper whites for Christmas. Thank you for sharing it...

Amy and Dale, - Looking forward to your visit with great pleasure!

Jo Bryant said...

A wonderful post that was a delight to so many senses...

Tumblewords: said...

Oh, good luck with these - they are so beautiful and it's exciting to have fresh blossoms in the 'coldest times'.