It’s paperwhite season, which means it’s time for setting bulbs in jam jars or bowls or any small vessel you happen to have, and sticking them on a windowsill so you have something to look forward to in the New Year.
I’d be remiss not to mention that a handful of paperwhite bulbs tucked into a little handmade basket make a very lovely gift indeed, but I’ve probably made enough suggestions of what to give other people this season. Consider this my plea to practice just a bit of selfishness in month that has too many folks feeling harried and in a season where there’s too little green.
For my part, I brought home five paperwhite bulbs after seeing them on a last-minute jaunt to the hardware store get an extra string of Christmas lights last night. Today, they’re dotting windowsills and tabletops and hanging from a floral twine basket, taking in the winter sun that will have them blooming by New Years.
It’s been more than a few years since I shared my favorite paperwhite pushing method and I’ve culled my bottle collection a bit since then, so this year I decided to use one bottle and some lid-less Weck jars that have been floating around my cabinet. In the bottom of the jars I put a small handful of broken seashells that I found under the kids’ bunkbed earlier in the week, but if you don’t have children squirreling shells away for safe-keeping, small stones or marbles would also work.
If you have a smaller-necked bottle like the one above, you might not need anything at all. Note: the optics are strange in that shot, but the water level is right up to the top of the bottle which will allow those dry roots to start to drink. If you follow this method, try to choose a bulb that fits snuggly into your bottleneck and check your water level daily for the first few days as the roots start to grow.
That’s it. Now we wait and take our Vitamin D and think about how sweet our apartments will smell once these suckers bloom.
For the curious:
Our white candlestick is from Notary Ceramics.
Beeswax tapers are made by James.