Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Paperwhites and Pine Cone clusters

To me, there is nothing more intoxicating than the heady fragrance of paperwhite blossoms filling a cold room in wintertime. While visiting Terrain at Styers, a local nursery, I saw these bulbs displayed in antique desert cups. What a great idea! And since I already had cups like them at home (even better), all I needed to purchase were two bulbs. Loveliness for three dollars. Not bad.

Here's the ingredients: cups, pebbles, bulbs, water. Simple.

A woman at the shop was kind enough to give me this tip. Once roots emerge from the bottom of the bulb, switch up the water for a mixture of 7 parts water to 1 part vodka. The alcohol stunts the growth of the stems, so as to prevent the plant from becoming too leggy and flopping over. Instead, you'll have straight stocky stems with beautiful, fragrant blooms. I hope it works.

Here's something fun and easy--pine cone clusters. You'll need 7 or 8 cones - the long pointed variety - and some flexible wire (I used 28-gauge).

Cut about 24 inches of wire from the spool. Wrap the wire around the stem end of each cone.

You want to string the cones together side by side.

Join them together to form a hoop, with at least 6 inches of wire remaining on the end.

Now take your pine cone hoop and twist it into a cluster by folding the cones over each other until you get a shape that you like.

At this point you can embellish them any way you like. I chose the ribbon and rose hips for an autumnal look. But you can use glitter and what-not for Christmas.

Here's a large version waiting to be gussied up.


Niamh said...

My midwife had me drink some tea with rosehips in it, before then I didn't know roses had hips. My grandparents grew some roses that sit outside their old home (my new home) and the latest roseblooms just fell. And for the first time I noticed the rosehips. Apparently the rosehips have many medicinal uses and are high in vitamin C.
This post makes me think about when my grandparents took my sisters and I to their house in Idaho for a week. Being from southern Nevada, us girls were enchanted by the cattails growing in the irrigation canals in Idaho. So my grampa cut us a bunch of cattails and my grandmother sprayed them with hairspray so they wouldn't get all puffed out and we kept them for years. That was almost as neat as when, years later, we took them outside and beat them on the porch to make them puff out - like a dandelion, but much bigger and therefore, much better!

Anonymous said...

So pretty! I love the combination of the silver and old glass and trays. The lighting in the tea pot photo looks like a painting, very still.


Treasures on GOD'S mountain said...

Thank you for all these 'wonderful' creative ideas, the Paper White idea is 'simple', which is what we 'need', simple & LOVELY, what a combination !!!
The 'pine cone' idea is equally lovely, using 'GOD'S' creation.....
The 'best things' in life are 'free'......


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