Sunday, December 28, 2008

'Tis the season . . .

. . . for mad crazy bulb forcing. Currently, paperwhite narcissi "Ziva"--the biggest, most pungent variety--are in bloom.

I keep at least one container in flower from October through March.

Bowls, vases, cups--whatever can be filled with pebbles or marbles and topped with a couple of bulbs--will work. If I remember to provide an intoxicating drink, the paperwhites will grow shorter; if I forget, they grow taller. Shorter is better, I think.

Because I was open to a change of pace this year, I impulse-bought a few bulbs of Narcissus tazetta v. orientalis Chinese sacred lily" and Narcissus tazetta ssp. aureus "Grand Soleil d'Or" at a local hardware store. Here's what I reaped--nothing but foliage. I know that these varieties take longer than paperwhites to bloom but after a few months of waiting, I had to move on. Narcissi are all about brevity.

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