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Paperwhite Arrangements

Just before Thanksgiving I start potting up paperwhite bulbs so I’ll have flowers in time for Christmas. I never tire of these winter-blooming narcissus. Their pure white blossoms add a sweet freshness to my holiday decorating. I have discovered they have a chameleon-like quality that makes them fun to use in a variety of arrangements.

Here are some tips for buying and storing the bulbs:

Paperwhites with Green Apples, Cut Evergreens and Lichen

Once they bloom, I like to add paperwhites as elements to create a number of mini-scenes on tables and side boards. Here are a few tricks I’ve learned in creating these displays:

Combine the flowers with contrasting elements such as sprigs of holly, cedar and candles.

Pinecones Covering Paperwhite Bulbs

Disguise the tops of the bulbs and add interest to the top of the container with sheet moss or small pinecones. The added texture is a fun way to bring another element of design to the arrangement.

Bent Twigs Supporting Paperwhite

The standard way to give paperwhites a little help in standing tall is to add slender sticks next to the flower stalks. As an alternative approach, I found several lichen covered branches and inserted them into the container’s soil then gently wove the flower stalks within them. The twigs gave the display a casual, woodsy feel.


Living in the Garden HomeThis seasonal arrangement is an excerpt from the fourth book in my Garden Home Series, P. Allen Smith's Living in the Garden. Learn more about this book.