This is the point in the winter when I start getting a little garden-stir-crazy. Listening to British gardening show podcasts makes it a little worse, because they’re generally a month ahead of us, so they’re starting to talk about snowdrops and hellebores, and I’m staring out the window at thick snow cover and more coming down.
Starting seeds helps (I started some peppers a few days ago, and will be starting the rest of them today), but mostly I’m craving flowers. Luckily, I have one batch of paperwhites in full bloom, looking glorious, which means it’s time to start another batch, so that as these start to go down in a week or two, the new batch will be coming up.
Some people are organized enough to start paperwhites every two weeks in winter — I don’t quite manage that. But even erratic periodic planting helps! A bag of 24 Ariel paperwhites at White Flower Farm (reliable big bulbs, though can find cheaper at Home Depot, etc.) is $57. I usually end up giving a half dozen away to a friend, but that still leaves me with plenty to start a few times over the winter.
If you plant in gravel with water, the winding white roots will look cool, but there’s no chance of saving them for the following year. In theory, planting in soil might let them come back, but it’s iffy — I haven’t tried yet.
Note that paperwhites generally have a distinct scent — I like it, but some people don’t.