Wednesday, February 13, 2013

forsythia indoors

Thanks for all the encouragement on my first craft fair experience. The first week of the jewelry class seemed to go well. I'm looking forward to diving into the actual making next week with everyone. We have an interesting and diverse group!

Here it's been starting to feel like spring. Actually, with our cyclical weather this winter we've had bursts of spring over and over interspersed with lots of snow. Today I noticed some crocuses starting to sprout up in my garden. And some tulips and daffodils. I've kept narcissus bulbs on my windowsill all winter long and I set my first chilled hyacinth bulb in a jar on the windowsill a few days ago, so I've had spring on my mind for a while now. I don't like the term "force" applied to bulbs or branches. It sounds so negative. But for lack of a better term, I do a lot of forcing during the winter to keep me from going through flower withdrawal. When we moved into our house, the garden already had a lot of established forsythia and every year I've popped out to cut some for an early bloom inside. Around here January or February are good times to do this. I like to choose a mild day and cut the long branches that I allowed to grow the previous summer. I've read about various techniques that are supposed to get the stems to bloom and some involve submerging the entire branch in a tub of water to soak or wrapping them in newspaper. I'm lazy and don't do any of that and I've had flowers every year.

First, take your pruners and cut what you want.




This bunch was really too tall, so I cut some of the stems in half. Next the ends need to be prepared.




I like to pinch off the flower buds that are near the bottoms of the stems so they won't rot in the water.






To help the branches take up water, I use a hammer and smash the ends.




You can use any heavy, hard object to do this (I've used a rock in the past). Next, peel off the bark from the smashed stems.






Now they're ready to put in water. It's best to change out the water every couple days. The flowers will open in about a week.




I hope you're having a lovely week!

8 comments:

  1. Oh, thanks for sharing that Anne. I have limited flowers right now. Cyclamen, African violet, a primrose, a Christmas cactus with buds and I think my orchid is going to bloom (fingers crossed). I love the yellow of the forsythia. :)

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  2. Thank you for the horticultural advice Anne! I would never have thought of 'encouraging' the flowers to bloom in this way. I will have to try it! I am glad that your first jewellery making class got off to a good start. You will soon be in your stride as your confindence grows over the coming weeks.

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  3. Oo, spring is much ahead over that side of the "lake". Here in Finland we still have over 20 inches of snow. Your forsythia branches look so lovely!

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  4. Thank you, Anne! I have many forsythia bushes and am grateful for this tutorial!
    I'm going to start some branches tomorrow!
    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  5. I just walked the garden and it looks as if a herd of deer visited this morning. Fresh hoof prints in the snow everywhere, in and out of every bed. The rhododendron is nothing but short stubs. And the rabbits have been just as bad. I wonder if I'll ever have enough forsythia to spare a few branches for forcing with all the wildlife around here thinking the garden is their personal diner. Yours are fabulous.

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  6. So pretty. Thank you for the inspiration & tutorial.

    I've just enjoyed your previous post (where I left a comment) & wish I could've been there to browse your beautiful creations in person.

    Have a joy & flower filled creative weekend.
    Kat Xx

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  7. I know what you mean about lack of flowers = withdrawal! This time of year is so beige/white that all I can think about is when will the flowers return. I have been scouting our neighborhood for flowers and did find some snow drops this week. My dad used to force forsythia and pussy willows for us every year when we were kids. That was a sure sign that spring was on the way. Thank you for sharing your spring sunshine with us!

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  8. Glad to have shared a little bit of sunshine! Thanks for all the lovely comments!

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