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Each spring, there comes a point in the winter when I’ve had enough. I’m longing for longer days and warmer weather, so I’ll bring a little bit of spring inside until things warm up enough for spring bulbs and blooms outside. I’ll head out to the yard (usually sometime in March) and snip some forsythia branches, so I can force them to bloom in a vase indoors.
Forcing branches is easy and you can do it with any early-spring deciduous bloomer, like dogwood, cherry and magnolia.
Simply head outside with a pair of nice, sharp pruners and select your branches. Be sure not to take them all from one spot. You don’t want to remove all the lovely soon-to-be blooms from your shrub.
Be selective—I like to snip branches that seem to be out of place, maybe they’re lower on the shrub and need to be pruned anyhow, or they’re a bit wonky and stick out in a weird way from the others.
Cut the branches longer than you need and bring them inside. Fill a vase with warm water, and trim the branches to size. Before arranging them in the vase, make some small cuts up the ends or give the base of each branch a little smush with a hammer.
Place the vase in indirect sunlight. It will take anywhere from one to three weeks for the wee buds to bloom.
* What do you like to force each spring?