Do you know what paperwhites are?
Zoe went to a bulb planting class at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum with Aunt Andrea and cousin Alex a few weeks ago. They brought home a pot of daffodils and hyacinth bulbs (which are in the fridge waiting for spring) and they brought home a pot of paperwhite bulbs (to grow and bloom now).
This is what Wikipedia says about paperwhites (scientifically known as the Narcisus papyraceus)
"Narcissus papyraceus (from papyrus and aceus ; meaning paper like ), commonly known as Paperwhite, is a perennial bulbous plant native to the Mediterranean region. The white flowers are borne in bunches and are strongly fragrant. It is frequently grown as a house plant, often forced to flower at Christmas. Paperwhites are part of the Narcissus genus which is typically associated with daffodils."
So... they are a beautiful white flower that grows from a bulb. They really are gorgeous... but "strongly fragrant" doesn't quite give a thorough description. They absolutely are some of the most foul smelling flowers I have ever come across. They wreak. And you can smell them from across the house if the breeze hits just right.
In addition to smelling horribly, they also grow to be quite tall and then they all fall over. As pretty as the flowers are... it's not very attractive to have these tall green stems and leaves just falling all over your table. And stinking.
Do you know how hard it is to throw away a growing plant that your 3 year old planted all on her own and is thrilled with on a daily basis because "MY PAPERWHITES! THEY'RE GROWING! LOOK MOMMY, THEY'RE GROWING!"????
So, do you know what I did?
I gave Zoe a lesson in flower arranging.
I've never been so happy to have flowers wilt and die.