Spring is a week away! While I have been waiting for spring, these flowering branches have been reminding me that winter is not as bleak as it seems.
One of the first harbingers of spring, Forsythia pops on gray days, reminding us of what is to come. Its cheerful branches of yellow flowers can be harvested and used in arrangements and bouquets. I like to harvest the branches before the flowers bloom to force the blooms indoors and enjoy the flowers even longer. Simply cut a branch with buds, bring it indoors and recut the branch, placing it in warm water. Wait for the blooms to open and enjoy the cheerful flowers while you wait for spring to arrive.
Pear, Peach, Apple, and Cherry trees
We have a small orchard on the farm with cherry, pear, and peach trees, in addition to other fruiting bushes and trees. We enjoy the fruit that the trees produce. I also appreciate the blooms that the trees make in late winter and early spring. Like forsythia, I harvest branches to force indoors. I make deliberate cuts on the fruit trees, pruning branches that need to be cut back. We prune the fruit trees in late winter and early spring, anyway. It is a great excuse to bring branches inside to force into bloom. Place branches in warm water, making a second cut while the branch is submerged in the water. You can also cut up the branch to split it in half so that it can access more water. Enjoy the beautiful blooms!
Tulip magnolias in bloom are a spectacular sight to behold. I harvest one or two buds to add to a winter or early spring arrangement in order to watch it unfold in front of me in its vase on my kitchen counter.
You can see a bouquet made using all four ingredients from this series on winter flowers: hellebores, flowering shrubs, narcissus, and flowering branches. It may seem that winter will never end and that spring is a long way from arriving; but these blooms remind me that there is so much more to this season and that the days are getting longer and the color is returning to the earth. Look around you for glimpses of spring.