Tired of cold and snow and can't wait another day until spring? Unfortunately, we'll have to wait a few more weeks for warm, spring weather, but creating this easy indoor garden by forcing spring flowering branches will help the next few weeks pass a little faster.
Which Spring Flowering Branches to Use in Indoor Garden
There are a multitude of choices; any tree or shrub that flowers in early spring is a good candidate for forcing. Branches cut from forsythias, quinces, redbud, deciduous magnolia, pear, cherry or apple tree are a few great examples.
Forcing spring flowering branches is simple, and the cost is zero if you (or a generous neighbor) have any spring flowering trees. Spring flowering branches can be purchased from a local florist for a nominal fee.
Indoor Garden Materials
Just one forced spring flowering branch is a lovely way to chase away winter blues, but a gardener needs a garden to tend. To create an indoor garden of forced spring flowering branches, gather a variety of budded spring branches and place each variety in a different glass vase and create a garden-like grouping of the flowering branches.
Gather these materials then head outdoors - Sharp pruning shears, bucket of warm water, bleach, garden twine, cut-flower food and several glass vases (clear glass jars with narrow mouths work perfectly)
How To Cut Spring Flowering Branches
Fill bucket with warm water, add one tablespoon of bleach to water to prevent bacteria growth and add one packet of cut-flower food.
Choose branches that have several swollen buds (close to the time the plant would naturally bloom). Cut selected branches at least 12 inches long and make cut near branch base. Use pruning shears (or sharp knife) to make two vertical slits into the branch, two inches up from the cut end. These slits will allow water to reach swelling buds, ensuring bigger flowers on each branch. Place spring branches immediately into bucket of warm water.
Force the Spring Flowers
Place the bucket of freshly cut spring branches in a cool location (50-60 degrees is optimum) out of direct sunlight. Mist the branches frequently with warm water.
When flowers are just beginning to open on the branches, remove from bucket and create indoor garden. Fill several decorative glass vases with warm water and place budding branches into vases. Choose a sunny indoor location to create an indoor garden by using a window ledge and/or bench and display a multi-level grouping of spring flowering branches. The sun will reflect off the vases while coaxing the spring flowering branches to produce brilliant blooms that will brighten any room and mood.