Sunday, January 14, 2007

Drinking buddies

Last year, I caught wind that the good folks at Cornell University College of Agricultural and Life Sciences had discovered a novel way to reduce the height of forced paperwhites.

Oh, those clever undergraduates! And, oh, those dark, bleak winter days in upstate New York!

When their water is replaced with a dilute solution of one's favorite alcoholic beverage, the paperwhites grow to about half their regular height. (I can't speak to the effect on undergraduates.)

But, is that a good thing? I think the decision comes down to a philosophical stand, with safety and practicality on one side balancing grace and risk on the other.

1. The plants don't lean towards the nearest light source and then pitch over. No discoveries of top-heavy paperwhites tumbling from their planting bowls to the floor.

1. The plants lack their long-stemmed, albeit precarious, beauty.
2. Some of the slower-growing or secondary buds wither before blooming.
3. Is it my imagination, or is the blooming period shorter?

Data-collection and decision-making continues.

1 comment:

diana said...

Time to get the paperwhites trashed!