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.

Practicality:
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.

Grace:
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!