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Forcing Spring

April 4th, 2016

This is the first year that I’ve been really good about continually cutting branching of different trees/shrubs to force blooms and leaves. So far, I’ve been able to have flowers in the house continually for a month and will continue to have them for at least another month. I cut branches of: lilac, apple, flowering almond, pussy willow, birch, wild cherry, red twig dogwood, and of course forsythia.
forced branches 1
forced branches 3
forced branches 4
forced branches
They don’t just have to be flowering branches either, the stems with leaves are just as wonderful when there’s no green in the garden. I’m also enjoying the process of learning how long each variety takes to bloom. Forsythias are definitely the quickest, so far lilacs are taking the longest. Forcing branches is definitely something I’ll be doing a lot of every single winter now that I have a wide selection of options.

Do you force anything for winter interest? What’s your favorite?

Friday Favorite: Blooms in Winter

March 4th, 2016

I often cut branches of various things to force indoors when the weather is still dreary outside. Forced branches, whether they have leaves or flowers, can really help during this season when the snow is mostly gone and the world outside is still brown and drab. A little color indoors reminds us that spring is not far away, soon enough our gardens will be riotous with color. Forcing branches couldn’t be easier either, simply cut, put in water, and wait.
forced forsythia branches 3
The sunny yellow of forsythia is especially lovely to me right now, I cut these branches last week.
forced forsythia branches 1
forced forsythia branches 2
I’m thinking about cutting branches for flowering almond next, then perhaps I’ll try a few apple branches. If I had a star magnolia I’d cut a few of those as well. I would force lilac, but I’m not a fan of the smell at all, so those will stay outdoors. You can force branches from all sorts of trees like: quince, pussy willow, lilac, dogwood, cherry, apple, honeysuckle, spirea, hawthorn, viburnum, cherry, plum, and so many more!

Do you force blooms from branches or bulbs?

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.