Waking up to Paperwhites

paperwhites in bloom

Paperwhites in the morning. Better than an alarm clock

A few of the paperwhite bulbs I planted indoors are in bloom, and they are fragrant beyond belief. It was the first thing I noticed when I opened my eyes this morning. Just one of the bulbs in our bedroom has flowered so far, but the intoxicating scent fills the room. I can see a few buds on the other plants, so I’m in for a sensory treat later in the week.

paperwhite showing roots 2-4-2015 4-09-10 PM

Closeup view of Narcissus Paperwhite roots

Note: I carried the vase outside for better light

Out in the kitchen, the scent greeted me again. If I were a bird or a bee, the message would be clear: I’m irresistible! That’s why my Latin name is Narcissus.

paperwhite in pink chick  2-4-2015 4-05-55 PM

Paperwhite and chick

The single bloom in my little pink planter makes me giggle. It seems improbable that the long, lean stem could remain upright, but so far, so good.

I will definitely be planting more of these indoors in the future. It’s been a splendid treat.

How about you? Do you ever grow bulbs indoors?

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