Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Forcing Paperwhites!

Like all of my recent posts, this one comes to you today with an apology
attached for taking so, so, so long to share this with you! I had every good
intention of telling you about my excitement over my first effort to force
paperwhite bulbs (or any bulb, for that matter); however, one thing after
another happened and well... Here we are almost five months later!
Now, we all know I have an ah-mazing husband-gardener who has created an
incredible park-like garden here at our home; so I never felt like I had to
get my hands in the dirt... However, that all changed the day I raced over to
Spade and Broom, one of my new favorite places to pick for items to resell
in my antique mall booths, to grab this chippy farm table, which is now the
focal point of the booth I have at Antique Marketplace in Greensboro. And,
do let me tell you, the competition for this table was fierce! The moment it was
listed (for just $30) on their Facebook page, there were all kinds of inquires
about it, including plenty of people offering to pay for it on-line or by phone, just
to grab it before anyone else could. But, as luck would have it, Spade and Broom
only sells through their store and always on a first-come-first-served basis!
Which meant the trick would be to be first and first served! So... On a very, very
cold Saturday morning in February, I left the house at 6AM for Trinity, NC to
be there waaaaay before they opened at 10 o'clock. I admit that I felt pretty
goofy parked there on their front porch, all alone in my camp chair... And, it
also stopped being fun once the cold set into my bladder and I had to pee. But
it also did not take very long for my strategy to pay off because about an hour
into my wait (and still 2.5 hours from opening) a woman showed up and the
first thing she said to me was, I hope you are not here for the farm table or
the bookcase they posted on Facebook! Needless to say, she was not happy...
As soon as the doors opened, I grabbed the tags from the table and bookcase
to claim them... Then, I went back into the foyer to take another look at this
charming display of paperwhites situated on a bench near the window! And,
that was all she wrote; I had to have them! I bought handfuls of the loose
bulbs piled up in a large basket by the door, plus the one planted in the little
urn on the bench. On the way home, I stopped at my antique mall and bought
these beautiful vintage planters from my friend Kirby who also has a booth there!
After a quick stop for some potting soil and moss... I was in my
kitchen, potting up my very first bunch of paperwhite bulbs ever!
I cannot tell you the weeks of joy it brought me to watch these bulbs
grow during what is by far the coldest, ugliest months of the year here!
Paperwhites can be forced in water, pebbles or soil - And, so long as you water
and keep them in a spot where the temperature remains above freezing and turn
them every few days to encourage straight growth, they are no trouble at all! 
I did have to move them and this ivy topiary I picked up at Christmas
(which is incredibly, still alive!) into the kitchen a few times that
the temperature did dip below freezing; but I didn't mind one bit!
Because potted paperwhites are fun to decorate with!
Paired with a vase full of tulips, they make the perfect spring-time display!
I even used them to decorate around the table for a special birthday!
I also added these cute porcelain bunnies to the cake stand!
They enjoyed the party too...
Although, they didn't eat much!
Before I show you how well my paperwhites turned out, I need to share
this real quick for my reader, Sharon who asked me what I use to polish
the silver mirrors and boxes I showed you in this post last week...
After experimenting with several different silver polishes...
As well as polishing clothes promising to
eliminate the worst tarnish with only minimal effort...
The only one that really performed up to my standard was Wright's Silver Cream!
Since beginning this little business, I buy it by the case! Fortunately, it is
not very expensive and it is super easy to find in grocery stores. My only
complaint is that there is only one sponge applicator in each can... Because
given the amount of elbow grease my pieces require, those sponges do not last
very long at all. I always end up with more polishing compound than sponge!
Speaking of our sweet Leo... No one was happier than he was when I
decided to replace the moss covering I initially used to cover up the top
soil in my paperwhite planters with grass seed - Because it took off! 
Providing Leo with a healthy snack every afternoon!
Although Leo was a big help mowing my little grass farm...
I did end up cutting it with scissors every few days to keep it under control!
As you can see, all of my paperwhites came up
and they all came up beautifully straight too!
In fact, I was so delighted with the way they turned out that I took a
few to the shop to help decorate the chippy table for St. Patrick's day!
Speaking of decorating antique mall booths... Soon after I started my
business, I became a vendor for Greenwich Bay Soap Company
It was a natural fit for the shops where I have booths. And, I have been their
best customer for ages... Therefore, I know these soaps sell quite well too!
So, when I discovered this vintage Kohler pedestal
sink at my Habitat for Humanity Restore...
I knew it would be a cute way to display this incredible soap
line. All I had to do was have a piece of plexiglass cut to
fit over the sink bowl and Wa-La!, instant soap display!
While I did close this booth in January and I don't have the space to
display my little sink at my new shop at Antiques Marketplace, I am really
looking forward to the day it and this incredible 1920's mantle will fit!
So there you have it... My first, and sure not to be my last
attempt at forcing paperweight bulbs for Spring!
I hope this will inspire you to begin collecting unique planters and
containers to force your own paperwhite bulbs for Spring...  

Because as Martha would say, it's a Good Thing!

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