Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Growing Paperwhites!

Since I've been little, I've always taken an all or none approach to self-improvement. Usually I'll make a list and try to fix everything at once and end up changing nothing. I still haven't learned! I just made too many resolutions this year. So far- the kitchen has stayed cleaner, I've been cooking more, and Dylan and I have been working out at least 3 times a week. But this blog has been seriously neglected and there are so many things I would love to be documenting right now! I'm still doing a lot of wedding planning. There are only 115 days until I get married and so many things to do!

One of the big, BIG things I've decided to try and do myself are the flowers. I've had little gardens, and patio plants, but I've never grown flowers. It might be too big of a thing to try and do myself, but there's not a lot of cost involved, and so much potential.
I don't think I've mentioned this yet- but I bought 100 paperwhite bulbs a month or two ago. I was reading about live centerpieces, and thought it would be really cool to grow my own or buy plants or something. Paperwhites seemed to be the easiest and prettiest to try, so I went ahead and ordered them for about $60. I decided to plant two early to see how long it would take for them to bloom, if jars and pebbles would work, how they smelled, etc. Well, my first one just bloomed! Only one of the two bulbs I initially tried grew roots. One just got moldy- I'm not sure if it was the bulb or the amount of water... but I started a third bulb two days ago and it's doing just fine! I'm keeping the rest of the bulbs in my bathroom closet- which isn't insulated (so pretty chilly) and it's completely dark.

Here are a few pictures:
Below is the two-day old baby. I pulled the little guy out of the dark two days ago and stuck him in the jar on top of about 2 inches of pebbles. I added just enough water to touch the bottom of the bulb, and set him in front of a bright window.

Here's a full-grown one. I planted him about 4 1/2 weeks ago. You can see all the roots!

w is the full-grown one next to the baby and a close-up of the flowers. It was a little wobbly, so I pushed two wooden skewers on either side of the bulb and tied the whole thing with a little ribbon. There were three sets of buds (my flower anatomy is bad- i'm not sure what they really are called...) and the first two bloomed about 4 days ago. The third just bloomed yesterday! The one flower is reallllly fragrant. I don't mind the smell at all, but the one bulb can be smelled in both rooms downstairs.

I'm pretty excited about these. I hope the flowers last at least a week or two- it'll be so much less stressful knowing I can have a larger window to start the bulbs and have blooms in time for the wedding!

More soon on the other flowers I'm hoping to grow for bouquets!