I’m so happy it’s February! This past weekend was almost warm- well, above freezing and sunny with a hint of a warm breeze. It’s difficult not to get anxious over Spring’s arrival. So, to carry me through the next several weeks, I like to walk around the gardens carefully cutting branches to force into bloom in the house. It doesn’t take much effort (or planning) and almost happens by itself.
Typical candidates for indoor forcing include forsythia, redbud, quince, crabapple, pussy willow…almost any woody shrub – they typically set their leaves/buds last fall. One thing to remember, depending where you live, is that there’s a required minimum of at least six weeks of cold weather before their dormancy can be broken by forcing indoors.
The process is simple: cut a few branches carefully that won’t be missed in the overall landscaping, place them in a sink of tepid water for at least a two-hour soak. Fill a vase to the brim with water, cut off about one inch of the bottom of the stem and arrange them in the vase. They’ll begin to unfurl and blossom in about two to four weeks. Cut a few branches every weekend or so and enjoy until ‘Spring’ officially arrives!
May the ‘force’ be with you! lol