Pigtown Design: Paperwhites

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It’s at this time of year, deep in the winter, that I find I need a bit of cheering up. Paperwhite narcissus bulbs are just the ticket for that cheer. Paperwhites have a very distinctive scent and there are two schools of thought that: the people who hate the smell, thinking that it is akin to the scent of cat pee, and those, like me, who love the peppery scent.IMG_3798Their white flowers, long green leaves and saffron-coloured stamens brighten these long and cold winter days.

Paperwhites are simple to grow. All you need are some stones or glass pebbles, a container of pretty much any sort, and a couple of bulbs, which are widely available for a dollar or so apiece.image

I use single teacups, small bowls, pitchers and jugs, and about anything that can hold the bulbs and water – probably three inches or taller.

I usually get a dozen or so bulbs in December and plant a few at a time, waiting until each bulb has bloomed and then starting new ones. I keep them in the office and at home – anywhere that I will see them frequently.IMG_3799

To me, this is the perfect juxtaposition – cheery white flowers against the cold white snow!

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Meg Fielding

Meg Fielding writes the local interior design and lifestyle blog Pigtown Design. She enjoys dual citizenship with the US and the UK.

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  1. As a veteran of growing paperwhites, I have learned over the years that if you add a couple of tablespoons of gin to the water you add once they begin to bloom, the stems will be sturdier. A little bit of gin doesn’t hurt the gardener either….

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