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  • Writer's pictureSarah Fremont

Forcing Branches

We headed out to the Mill City Farmers Market in late winter in Minnesota. It’s essential to embrace the cold, snowy, dark season with realistic expectations and a hearty dose of enthusiasm. Trips to the farmers market, bundled-up nature walks, warm drinks, crackling fires, and twinkling lights help make the long season enjoyable. It was still several weeks before any spring blooms would make their appearance, but we noticed a market vendor selling a variety of budding branches offering a way to create your own flowers before spring arrived. We packaged up a few forsythia branches and arranged them in water when we got home. In a couple of weeks, the branches bloomed a cheerful yellow and we savored their hopeful presence as we enjoyed the last bit of winter.

Forcing spring blooms in the winter is super easy and adds a lovely atmosphere to your home. Here’s how you can create your own blooms:

  1.  Find a budding branch of a spring-blooming tree or bush. A few varieties to look for:  Forsythia, pussy willow, witch hazels, eastern redbud, and crabapples.

  2. Using a sharp pruning shear, cut a one to two-foot branch (at an angle) of a non-essential part of the tree or bush. Choose a branch with numerous buds.

  3. Place the branch in a vase with water. Keep the vase in a bright room.

  4. Change the water every few days.

  5. Flowers should appear in a few weeks.

Do some exploring to find a budding branch and enjoy your early spring blooms. Happy winter! xo

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