Thursday, February 20, 2014

still-sound 201. Narcissus

My mom and I went to Anawalt Lumber in the second or third week after her move to Los Angeles.  She bought a couple of small trees which I planted near her front door.  I bought narcissus bulbs.  You can buy ready-to-go narcissus bulbs at Trader Joe's, (ie. they're already situated in a little pot with earth).  All you have to do is water them from time to time and wait for the bright green hints of early springtime to shoot forth.  I figured I already had pots and dirt so the three bulbs for $3 would suffice. 

One bulb emerged remarkably quickly.  I kept the soil damp - perhaps too damp as little mushrooms started appearing on the surface.  I wondered if this was dangerous.  I googled "Is it dangerous to grow mushrooms indoors."  You can find every type of opposing answers to simple questions online.  Generally the answer seemed to be 'no'.

I replanted the virtuoso bulb in a mason jar on its own.  I marveled at the white strands pushing through the soil against the glass wall of the jar.  There's something so satisfying about looking at roots 'in action'.  I eventually made the realization that they were not roots sprouting from the narcissus bulb.  They were in fact a mycelial network sprouting up more little mushrooms on the surface.  For some inexplicable reason I thought this was gross.

The small paperwhite flowers bloomed a week or so later.  The scent is particular - somewhat pretty somewhat not-so-pretty.  Rob was sitting on the sofa and asked me if I smelled cat pee.  No.  

"I feel like I'm smelling cat pee" he insisted.  

I took a picture of the blossoms and posted it on Instagram.  

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