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Paperwhites and Smiles

Faces were all smiles at Fisher Elementary School when several ladies from the Arlington Garden Club stopped by with cups, rocks, and paperwhite bulbs. Both kindergarten classes learned about this cheerful flower which can be forced to bloom quite easily in the long winter months, bringing some cheer and a sweet fragrance indoors.

Paperwhites are "a polyanthus narcissus bearing clusters of small very fragrant pure white flowers" according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. They should be placed on top of two inches of rocks and pebbles, with the smaller pebbles helping to anchor the large bulbs. The bulb has everything it needs to flower, and no soil is required. Add water just to "kiss" the base of the bulb - the goal is for the roots to drink, but not to submerge the bulb. The students enjoyed examining the roots, and picking out the perfect rocks (and even a few favorite marbles) for their flower. The Arlington Junior Gardeners Program is an outreach educational opportunity which teaches gardening skills to the youngsters at Fisher Elementary School in Arlington, Vermont.

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