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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?

Forcing Spring

February 4th, 2010

Earlier this week I cut a few forsythia branches and brought them in. I put them in an old canning jar filled with water and put them on the old dresser that serves as a sideboard in my dining room.

Forcing forsythia is actually quite easy. You need to wait till Feb so that they’ve fulfilled their chill time. Cut branches less than 3 feet long on a day that is above freezing. Place them in warm water and put them in a bright warm place. If they get sun they’ll open quicker than if they don’t. Change water occasionally to keep it fresh.

Next time I got to my mom’s I’m planning on cutting some pussy willows to force as well, and I’ll probably cut a few more forsythia for other places around the house. I can’t wait for the yellow sprays to brighten my dining room.

Do you ever force blooms 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.