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Or: Defying Reality with Paper-Whitespaper whites with snow

It has been an unusually cold winter for my town (and to the towns and cities that stretch along the length of mountains that partially define our lives). Clouds rush against those mountains, and the snows dump on the settlements below. The spring storms found themselves falling upon the accumulated snow that fell first in December. It’s the first of March and my north-facing deck is still beneath a three foot drift that defeats the heart of my Sherlock.

Temperatures rose once or twice last month to nip at the heels of the normal range for this time of year, but mostly stayed in the bone chilling zone. But I rarely accept situations that are less than ideal. I’m a doer. A naïve, reckless, enthusiastic one—who sometimes forgets to count the cost– but a doer nonetheless. With the aid of my daughter-in-law, I have taken circumstances that deceptively seem beyond my control, and changed them.

 paper whites close upAt the family nursery that she manages they had a close-out on paper-white bulbs. When I expressed an interest, she grabbed a bag and filled it. Then she gifted it to me with instructions. When I asked about potting soil, rather than repeat her instructions, that I had clearly not comprehended, she took me to a greenhouse to show me first-hand a large clear vase with paper whites blooming boldly above it. Then I understood.

So between her gift and about an hour of “planting” I brought spring into my home, despite the evidence to the contrary beyond my backdoor.

Each bulb was set inside a container that had a couple inches of pea gravel in the bottom. I had some decorative pebbles that served the first four containers. Then I slipped on my DH’s heavy boots and tramped out to my garden to scoop up pea gravel from around the boxes where the snow had receded. After the bulbs were set, I filled each with water to about ¼ up the bulb. You can also add the rocks up around the bulbs–but I liked the layered look. Within a week there were roots and green shoots. Within two weeks I had flowers.

with vaseBe sure to rotate them as (admirably so) they like to grow toward the sun.

I placed this one beside a mirror–because the other name for this flower is Narcissus–from the handsome Greek God that fell in love with his own reflection. Wisely, this flower prefered the light.

With these happy, tender flowers around me, spring arrived. (So there, bitter-cold winds.)

Because of the abundance my daughter gave me, I ended up filling several containers including tea cups and miscellaneous bowls. 7 bulbs were placed into a large glass bowl. Then I set them into a room with a southern window, rotating them from the top of a chest to a place in the sun to be distributed when their full bloom arrived.

paper whites in window

They have tied me over through the single digit temps. This week there is to be a warming spike (finally) and the 40’s are predicted! The snow may actually melt from my patio and maybe Sherlock will find a sunny spot.