A delicate bowl of the thin white blooms is quite something to come home to in the darker days of winter
The scent of paperwhite narcissus surpasses heady into something almost narcotic. I’m not sure I’d want to be trapped in a room stuffed with them, but a delicate bowl of the thin white blooms is quite something to come home to in the darker days of winter.
Paperwhites, Narcissus papyraceus, are native to Mediterranean areas from northern Africa to southern Spain and southern France, where they are most likely to be found growing in grassy, cultivated land and stony places – free-draining, sunny spots. In our climate, your best bet is to grow them inside. Plant from now to December and they will magically bloom six weeks later in a room that is about 21C. They take longer in cooler rooms, so one way to stagger blooming is by keeping some in a cooler space until you want them to flower. You can order online from numerous places, but your local garden centre may well have bulbs, too; I’ve also picked up bargains from supermarkets.