Paperwhites Wait for No One

Van Zyverden Narcissus 'Paperwhite Ziva'

Van Zyverden Narcissus ‘Paperwhite Ziva’

My Paperwhite Narcissus got started without me. Nature waits for no one.

I knew that of course, but life got busy and before you can say ‘plant me’, well, you know the rest.

It’s been several years since planting indoor bulbs. This year I had the best excuse: this gorgeous glass vase.

narrow glass vase

Narrow glass vase

Several friends from my Pilates class attended the Los Altos Art and Wine Show in August of 2013. There I fell in love with this glass vase. Once home, my passion didn’t fade, but I realized how tricky is was to keep flowers upright in such a long, narrow vase. I eventually settled on dried hydrangeas from the garden. The full bloom helped keep everything upright, but I really wanted to get more use from the vase.
glass vase with hydrangeas

My classmate, Nadia suggested that I plant it instead with bulbs. I could hardly wait for summer to pass again so I could give it a try.

narcissus bulbs top view

Paper Whites, viewed from above

A quick Google search lead me to this video. I watched it twice thinking I must have missed a step. Nope! It’s that easy.

Line your designated container with a few inches/centimeters of  marbles or pebbles.

Nestle your bulbs into the filler, roots facing down.

Add a few more pebbles to hold your bulbs in place.

Add water to the top of the gravel and enjoy.

glass vase narcissus collage

I started with eight bulbs: six in the glass vase, one in a Bell jar and one in my little chicken planter

I took these photos a week ago and the greens are already six inches (15 centimeters)long.

Stay tuned for pics as soon as they bloom.

Paper Whites growing in our bedroom

Paper Whites growing in our bedroom

25 thoughts on “Paperwhites Wait for No One

  1. That vase is so beautiful, Alys, and how fun to be able to see the beginnings of growth through the textured surface. I’ll look forward to follow up photos!


  2. I am with everyone else on this one, that vase is so beautiful! I love vases in odd shapes like this, but I would never call this vase “odd” in any form, just beautiful! I can’t wait to see them start to bloom too! I should go get myself some bulbs too and do this too! YOU always inspire me to plant things!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Val. It is an unusual shape and that was part of the appeal. I love the textured glass and the frame holding it too.

      I encourage you to try some indoor bulbs. It’s a nice beak from the winter doldrums.


      • Speaking of winter, we got hit again last night with a few inches of snow and it has not stopped snowing since I got up this morning. Guess I’ve gotta shovel today. If I can, I am going to get some bulbs and start them indoor for something beautiful to look at.

        The only good thing, that for every day that passes, we are getting closer to the time that I start all of our garden seeds under the grow light for our garden this year. I can’t believe it is THAT TIME of year again already. WOW, time does fly!

        That vase of your is really truly beautiful. I know if I saw it in a store, I would probably look at it and wonder how the flowers would stand up in that vase too, but I know that I would end up buying it anyways.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. What a wonderful way to observe nature at work – and to anticipate the arrival of spring too. The vase is unusual and really eye catching. I love the texture and it seems it is perfect for the growing of bulbs…….. win/win again Alys! High 5!! 🙂


  4. That’s the *perfect container for paperwhites. I used to grow them at Christmas but again, these crazy cats will not leave them alone. It’s tricky when the greens mature to help them all stand up but that problem is solved with your vase. Your dresser photo’s look so great on your dresser too.

    My gosh, I just heard the cost to buy an American Dollar today. 1.20 Canadian for $1 US. Gulp. I will have to behave myself this spring. Gulp 😀 Are you feeling better? I woke up all stuffed up, but as the morning has progressed, I already feel better. I hope you are too xoxox Love you!


    • I’m just so tickled watching them grow in this vase. And you’re right, the added bonus of the sides keeping them upright.

      Thanks for noticing all the other details. If I had pulled back with the camera, you would see my lovely, customized birthday travel case. It makes me smile and think of you and that wonderful week whenever I see it. I made a ‘nest’ on top with some of the Tweetie bird paper and the bird pen rests in the nest. Perfect.

      What a bummer to hear the exchange rate is so poor. That’s discouraging. You are an excellent bargain shopper, so I know you’ll find some treasures within your budget. By the way, I was in Donna’s shop today. She’s selling those little tart holders for $1. I keep thinking about the woman who wanted three times that for hers. Please let me know if you want any more. She had lots of them.

      So, darn this cold, eh? I’m sorry you woke up feeling crummy again. I felt like I had turned a corner and even worked for a few hours doing a project for a client. Then late afternoon I started feeling dizzy again and it hasn’t passed. So discouraging. I just want to be over with it.

      Feel better soon….and I”ll cross my fingers for the boomerang affect.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m sure that lady will have someone willing to pay the retail asking price for the tins but I found it odd that she was unhappy to negotiate. These places usually enjoy that part. I’ll think about projects and let you know about Donna’s tins. Thanks so much for offering though xoxox.

        We did a Friday Night date night yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks and I’m woken by a very sore throat……ugh. I HOPE this isn’t round two. I agree, discouraging. It must be so stressful to feel that dizziness come on unexpected. Does it cause nausea too? Oh man, my fingers are crossed too for our recovery. xoxo


    • You could buy one small bag or a few loose bulbs and give it a go. Even one bulb in a pretty jar just to see how it does. Lots of plants do well with artifical light. Interestingly, they tell you to keep the paper-whites in low light until they are ready to bloom, then move them to a sunny window. Please let me know if you give it a go.

      By the way, I received your lovely card today. Thank you. I’m glad you and your daughter enjoyed the cards. Your postage stamp is one I’ve not seen before. I really like it.


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