Simple gift from the garden

Jil Peters,  – July 29, 2004

Narcissus bulbs planted in a paint can will brighten someone’s life for weeks.

1. Cover a 1-quart paint can (about $1 at hardware stores) with wrapping paper, securing the seam with double-stick tape.

2. Guided by the depression in the can’s lid, trace and cut out a paper label, write your message, and attach to lid with double-stick tape.

3. Fill can halfway with sand.

4. Place two or three paperwhite (shown) or other narcissus bulbs (about $5 for a 10-pack) in the sand (roots down, points up).

5. On a paper slip, offer advice for the giftee: To force bulbs, set aside lid and add water until sand is just moist. Place in sunny spot and keep moist; blooms in about seven weeks.

6. Tuck instructions in can, and, covering lid with a dishcloth, gently tap into place with a hammer.