Paperwhites are fragrant white flowers grown from bulbs. These bulbs can be purchased from garden centers such as one of my favorites- Garden Supply Co. in Cary, or bulbs companies such as John Scheepers, (on the internet). It is such a pleasure to plant these bulbs for their cheerful blooms in winter. They can be started in containers such as these hurricane vases pictured above. Three bulbs were were placed in each vase in pebbles about two and a half inches deep, then water was added just so that it touched the bottom of the bulbs. These were planted on November 26th, about 3 1/2 weeks ago.
The next picture show how the paperwhite bulbs quickly send out roots and green strap like leaves. This picture shows about two weeks of growth.
These next two pictures were taken today, (December 21st). These bulbs have started blooming and will continues for about two weeks.
Paperwhites often need support for their stems, but the support can be made to look quite attractive. For the cylinder containing a single bulb, I nestled in a curly willow branch with many secondary stems. These were woven around the stems and flower heads.
For the hurricane vases, I attached Oasis aluminum flat wire to the tops of the containers and swirled it around into a spiral that wraps around the leaves and stems.
These bulbs would be a great DIY for the bride who is planning a wedding late January through early March of 2011. One of the main reasons I like this project is that it can be done weeks ahead of your wedding. The bulbs should be started about 4-5 weeks before your wedding. Once they have sprouted green shoots, place them in a sunny window, that faces south or west. Keep the water level up around the roots, but make sure that it doesn't go above the bottom of the bulbs, (this will cause them to rot). Turn the vases about once a week to keep the stems straight.
Several hurricane vases set on the place card or gift table would look lovely surrounded by short pillar candles. The cylinder vases set among votive candles would add a simple elegance to some of receptions tables. They would certainly bring a cheery touch of springtime wherever they are used.
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org