I haven’t grown…

I haven't grown paperwhites yet this year, and probably won't, because the rental house is remarkably short on sun -- I don't think we really have a sunny windowsill. And it's been making me a little sad, because one of my favorite winter things is growing lots of paperwhites (and a few amaryllises Amarylli?). They're so easy and so beautiful and so hopeful in the midst of a dark Chicago winter.

So I was frustratedly reading about other people's paperwhite delights, and came across this very cool piece on pickling paperwhites. Apparently, if you grow them in a bit of alcohol (mixed with mostly water), they don't grow so tall, and aren't as tempted to flop over under the weight of those lovely white blossom heads. (One blog referred to them as 'worn out ballerinas', which is really perfect.) In their photo below, the ones on the right have been pickled:

I am totally going to try that next year. (Someone else recommended growing them in tall glass vases, so the stems can lean against the sides of the vase, which also makes sense.) In the new house, I will have sun! Umm...somewhere, I think. The north side of our house is totally shaded on the first floor by the big building next door. The west side and part of the south has the wraparound porch. The east side has a ton of sun in the mudroom, but no good place for growing plants, I think. The east side in the family room will probably have a pergola shading it. But the rest of the south side (family room and dining room) should work, I think -- although the windows are very low and perfect for kid-knocking-over-stuff-on-them. Maybe I'll grow my flowers on a tall table there.

3 thoughts on “I haven’t grown…”

  1. I can’t believe you of all people did not include a greenhouse! (and that would be so Victorian…or would that be Redency?)

  2. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    It was in the original plans (to the south of the family room), but cut due to lack of funding. Sigh.

    We have approval for it, so if we ever get an extra $40-70K to spare (book or movie deal?), we’ll be adding it back in.

  3. Is it possible to put a child guard along the bottom of the low windows to prevent a small person from bumping into a window or knocking something through it?

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