Forcing wild shrubs and bushes brightens the winter day
When I was young, I used to go out into the countryside for long walks. Those were the days when I could actually walk out of town. There were lovely creeks and wooded hills and those walks set the course for the rest of my life, because I moved to the woods and have lived in them ever since.
During the course of my wanderings in February or early March, I would look for and find Pussy Willows and Redbud. I would break off branches of the these shrubs and bring them back to my mother. It always pleased her so much. Those memories are very tender and precious to me. Any of us who have access now to wild country or even farm land can probably find bushes of forsythia gone wild, pussy willow, quince, spirea, redbud, and dogwood. Any of these plants, wild or tame, can be forced for indoor bloom. It is best to make long, slanted cuts when collecting the branches and not break them like I used to. Then you place the stems in a vase of water. The water needs to be changed every four days. They should bloom in about 3 weeks and bring an early spring into the house to enliven your life.
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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at February 15, 2011 3:38 PM