Signs of Spring

Spring arrives late in our neck of the woods so when we see little signs that it is just around the corner, we are excited. I planted about fifty daffodils last fall and I was anxiously waiting to see their little shoots poke through ...... so here they are! I've also been having fun "forcing" spring to jump the gun a little.

Oh the things you learn at the gym! Besides learning how to get buns of steel do squats so you can hover over a toilet seat in a public washroom, or at least get yourself back up from a stooped position, you can also learn how to force branches!

While doing my usual routine on the elliptical, I was intrigued by an interview on "Your Morning CTV" about clipping branches from your yard, that look as dead as doornails, and "forcing" them to bloom. You simply cut branches from flowering shrubs and trees, bring them indoors and stick them in a container of warm water and in a week or two you have spring blossoms indoors!

Your Morning CTV Forcing Branches

As soon as I got home from the gym I dug out my pruners and headed out over the crust of snow in my yard to take some cuttings for my experiment. The best specimens are early bloomers such as forsythia, azaleas, magnolias, various fruit trees etc. I didn't have any of these, but I did have lilac and spirea, which were also on the "best to force" list.

I followed the recommended procedure and in a week the spirea was sprouting and the lilacs were going crazy. I could actually see little tiny clusters of lilac blooms, still green but definitely visible.


After a couple of weeks or so, the lilacs ran their course. (I didn't really imagine that a large cluster of purple blossoms would actually form on these branches sitting in tap water.) The spirea and potentilla, however were still showing little green leaves and looking very spring like.

Recently, on Easter weekend, my daughter in-law was able to use the "greenery" branches, along with some pussy willows, that we found along the side of the road, to create this lovely Easter bouquet for her grandmother.

So, each day I look for new spring surprizes in my garden, and continue to clip bud bearing branches and bring them indoors to see what they will produce.


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