Like Carol at May Dreams Gardens our garden is once again buried in snow. O f course we do expect there to be snow here in January-just not so much for so long.  At last count there has been about 70 inches this season compared to an average closer to 40 inches by mid January. So I’m inside buried in the avalanche of garden catalogs. This is an unexpected result of last year’s meagre orders from perhaps 3 different companies resulting about in twenty different catalogs so far.

Sadly I was woefully late buying any seasonal plants to cheer up the house during mid winter. The Amaryllis the kids got me for Christmas is so far just budding and I finally remembered to get a few paperwhites for forcing  just five days ago.

This year I’m going to pickle the paperwhites in vodka to keep them from growing such tall stems that always flop under the weight of the prolific blossoms. (This ain’t nothin’ mama done told me!)

According to a study by Cornell University plant biologists(?) substituting a 40% solution of grain alcohol for plain tap water will result in shorter stems without affecting the blooms at all. So I’m trying it.  The only way I’ll know it’s working is if I SEE that the stems are shorter and if I compare the expected height to what happens here.

I have 2 different varieties of paperwhites: Ziva and Inbal. I started them on January 10. The Ziva had already sprouted when I bought them and they are the ones that have also already sent out roots. Today I replaced the water with a one to seven part ratio of 40% grain alcohol (vodka) to water.  We shall see!

the ingredients

Day six