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"Paperwhite Narcissus" of my Holiday Traditions

Saturday, December 6, 2008

"Paperwhite" bulbs being forced in pebbles & water.....ever so simple....ever so beautiful! One of my favorite holiday rituals is the planting of "paperwhite narcissus". Years ago, shortly after moving to Southern California, I had been admiring the December issue of House Beautiful. The magazine was featuring a beautifully decorated home, all dressed for the upcoming holidays. The one thing that caught my eye was these amazing white flowers?...They were tall & white & added such a freshness to the overall decor!....As I read, I learned that these were called "paperwhites"....they were part of the "narcissus family".....& were very easy to grow, as well as force. The next day I was off to the nursery "to get me some bulbs"!!!.....With magazine in hand, I went from one garden center to the next, each one knowing what the flower was, but trying to explain to me that it was a "spring flower"...not something they carried at this time of year...& definitely NOT a flower suitable for Christmas!.....Well, that was simply unexceptable!....I went home & begin my research.....It wasn't long before I was ordering bulb catologs & purchasing "paperwhite bulbs" through the mail...... I carefully planted a "few" that first year, with amazing results!....the next year a few more & on & on!!....Over the last 20 years, it has become quite an obsession!.....And as you are probably quite aware, paperwhites are now quite readily available from high end nurserys to the local Home Depot!...For me this lovely pristine flower "exemplifies" Christmas...."simple & pure".....At our house, paperwhite "forcing" has become tradition.....So tomorrow, bulbs in hand, this girl will be putting on her garden gloves, & once again planting a few pots of "Christmas"......I invite you to do the same.....& possibly a new tradition will begin at your house.......Heidi XO

Paperwhites grow to approx. 24" & usually need at some point to be given some support. Isn't this "cage of twigs" the perfect answer.....

So tall & regal.......

Because paperwhites can be planted very shallow...this antique "birdbath" makes a charming container.


Jan and Tom's Place December 6, 2008 at 9:31 PM  

Hi Heidi...

Paperwhites are simply elegant and beautiful!!!


Kathy December 6, 2008 at 9:37 PM  

Oh! Totally gorgeous, Heidi!
Merry Christmas...Kathy

Arleen December 6, 2008 at 10:10 PM  

Hello! I plant paperwhites every year, too, and find them to be so gorgeous. I place them in my living room and in my bedroom. Absolutely stunning. Thank you for sharing your photographs! ~Arleen

Tracy December 7, 2008 at 3:23 AM favorite "winter" flowers! I'm late getting mine planted...Can almost smell them...mmm..Happy Days, Heidi ((HUGS))

G. Bloom December 7, 2008 at 7:38 AM  

Hi Heidi,
thanks for stopping by! I love paper whites too! As always your blog is so pretty!

Polka Dot Moon December 7, 2008 at 9:58 AM  

One of our favorites too! We love to force bulbs in antique compote dishes.

Happy Sunday :)

Sherri December 7, 2008 at 3:37 PM  

Heidi, this was the first year I didn't plant any paperwhites and now seeing those pics on your blog I'm sorry I didn't. My house usually smells so wonderful from the paperwhites, I will miss them greatly this year!

Cottage Rose December 7, 2008 at 6:21 PM  

Hey Heidi; I used to force paper whites but I have not for a few yrs. Reading your post has made me want to again, I really love these beauties.

Have a great week


Michelle December 8, 2008 at 1:11 PM  

Oooh...I must get my Paperwhites! I'm usually not good at growing anything by these I can do well for some reason. :)

Sherry December 8, 2008 at 7:10 PM  

I love your Narcissus! My grandpa always had the most beautiful flowers at Christmas time. When I was younger I never understood the beauty of those wonderful flowers in the winter time, now I see them as a treasure!


Beverly December 9, 2008 at 10:20 AM  

Oh, I adore narcissus, and I love having an amaryllis, too. They make winter so elegant.

Donna December 10, 2008 at 9:52 AM  

Hi Heidi,
Paperwhites are a favorite of mine this time of year.

Happy day!

ozjane December 13, 2008 at 4:47 AM  

I am trying to work out when I would plant these for this to work down under. Have flowers in winter.
Do they only take the month to grow when 'forced' inside.
In Autumn I would have some of these already beginning to flower in the garden, so will have to try something next year.

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