Friday, February 4, 2011

You'll Make It An Offer It Can't Refuse

I've never been one to "bully" anything, but it is the dead of winter, and I'm over it.
I need spring.... now...

This weekend is the perfect time to head out into the garden and prune a few branches to "force bloom".

I plan on cutting enough branches to place in several rooms. Just about any type of container will do. You are only limited by your imagination.

The best candidates for forcing are those that are about 6 to 7 weeks out from blooming in nature.
A few options:
forsythia          peach
magnolia         plum
quince             cherry
deutzia            sweet almond
azalea             purple sandcherry
apple              mock orange
dogwood        bradford pear

If you didn't get your degree in gardening, and are not sure what to prune, don't worry. Bare branches, creatively displayed, can be dramatic, and just as pretty...

To keep forced flowers looking fresh you can whip up a batch of homemade flower preservative:
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon household chlorine bleach
Mix with 1 quart water

If interested, I have attached this 6 minute instructional video of Heather Sherwood, senior horticulturist at the Chicago Botanical Garden, explaining how to prune and force branches of several different trees and shrubs.

Now get out there and bully those boughs!!!


  1. I adore spring blossoms, and remember as a child all tye fruit trees we had in our garden which would be masses of snowy white or pink blossoms come spring! That photo with the wooden table and those bottles with blossoms is just stunning! Have a great weekend!

  2. thank you for the little recipe and the video-It is a great sight to see the yellow forsythia popping out-one of the times of year Yellow is a favorite is the Spring dafs and fors.

  3. I adore arrangements with branches - so elegant and dramatic. I so wish I was good with flowers and plants - it just is not one of my talents - I do so admire it in others. Love all the beautiful examples you included!!

  4. Lots of great info here. I love the curly baskets.

    And if you can't find your branches under the snow banks, curly willow branches from the florist will typically sprout green leaves that are also a welcome sight in the winter.

  5. One of my favourite things to do in winter is to bring in twigs. I didn't know about 'forcing' though. We have many crab apples here; I'll try it next winter. Thanks for the video and the preservative recipe.

    And thanks for looking me up and following!

  6. Wow! I love ALL of these images and ideas. There is so much you can do here and I think this is a beautiful spread. Thanks for stopping by my blog!!! I'm now a follower too! :)


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