iPhoneography: Carolyn’s paperwhites

12 02 2019

iPhone 8Plus, Camera+ 2 app in macro mode

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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Paperwhites (Narcissus papyraceus)

31 01 2011

I force paperwhite bulbs every year and always forget about their scent—when they begin to bloom and I haven’t noticed yet, I walk around the kitchen and living room and ask myself, “what is that smell?” You’d think I’d learn! I kind of have a love/hate relationship with the smell. It’s okay when you get the first whiff of it, but I made the mistake of moving them from their usual place in the kitchen (which I rarely inhabit) to a table in the living room (where you’ll find me if I’m not in my studio). And I’ve had a mild headache ever since doing so. Wonder why? I’m tempted to call it a day (or a bloom) and pitch them, but some blooms haven’t opened yet and I just can’t bring myself to interrupt the blooming process, obsessive gardener that I am.

I just read a post on Margaret Roach’s blog, awaytogarden.com, about paperwhites and the trick to keeping them from flopping over (gin, vodka or rubbing alcohol). She also mentions that adding a few drops of bleach might limit the strong scent (if you find the scent offensive, that is). Margaret was the first garden editor of Martha Stewart Living magazine. Go check out her blog—it’s wonderful!

I also learned something from the reader comments: Brent of Brent & Becky’s Bulbs says that the Israeli hybrids are the ones that “stink.” Most likely mine are the ‘Ziva’ hybrid that dominate the market for forced bulbs. He recommends one of the newer Israeli introductions, ‘Inbal,’ which has a nice fragrance. I’ll look for that hybrid in their catalog—but it’s still so convenient to get my $5-after-Christmas-sale-deal at Target, complete with the pot and growing mix—despite the stinkiness. I’ll just keep them in the kitchen again next year.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.





Paperwhites in bloom

21 02 2009

My paperwhites are in full bloom this week. Although I have been watering them regularly, I would have missed the blooms when they first opened if it hadn’t been for the aroma. It’s a scent people either love or hate. I have forced Paperwhite bulbs for several years now and I am always surprised by the scent. When they start to open and I get that first whiff in the air, I start looking for the source. Then I notice the Paperwhites I’m forcing in the kitchen window. It happens every year. One would think I would remember. Ah, yes, that familiar scent odor. They’re neat to photograph because with a macro lens you can see that the petals have a mica-like sparkly surface.

While perusing gardening blogs tonight, I came across this comment from a visitor who wrote, “I can’t dislike anything that’s gracious enough to bloom for me this time of year.”

My sentiments exactly.

© Cindy Dyer. All rights reserved.

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