I am thinking of the Paperwhite Narcissus that I set into pebbles and water every year the week after Thanksgiving which thrust thick white roots down and produce  green stalks shooting with nodding clusters of fragrant white blooms. These bulbs are forced, and most of the time will not grow and bloom again even if buried in the soil to grow naturally. I am wondering if sometimes our own efforts are forced in this way, rushing to provide results, never acquiring the patience for God’s timing.

4 thoughts on “Paperwhites

  1. Mary Ann,
    Your posting provides thoguhtful consideration.I have never forced bulbs. I always mean to. Late November and December never find me with time. I wonder though if forcing bulbs is also a way to enjoy what our gardens cannot give us but what we are needing, goes along with my theory that there is always an alternative route.


    • Good thoughts, Arlene! I have done this for many years. I always love watching the growth and bloom. They always get very tall and need to be tied up with a piece of raffia to keep them from flopping over. This year a friend sent me a link to a study done at Cornell: “Pickling your Paperwhites”… a way to reduce growth but maintain bloom by using a 5% alcohol solution instead of plain water. 1 part Gin to 7 parts water stunts the growth. My paperwhites this year were 1/2 the height of previous years, but still bloomed. There is another whole story there, right?


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