Force Winter Twigs For Indoor Spring Color

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Yesterday, while the birds were gossiping with spring chatter on one of our first days above 50 degrees in weeks, I noticed some pruned wisteria sticks were still in our perennial garden, left over from when my husband had pruned the flowering wisteria last fall. It’s been an extremely wet winter, and I was surprised to find that the wisteria sticks had buds on them. The moisture of the winter rains sustained the cuttings, so they were still alive!

Inspired by Cathy’s “In a Vase on Monday” series, where she puts whatever might be green, even in the dead of winter, into a vase and writes about it, I looked at those wisteria sticks and thought perhaps I could force them for early blooms. And then this post, at Frogend Dweller’s Blog, rocked my Monday, with the reminder that we can collect many different flowering twigs, place them in a vase filled with water, and watch them open over the course of late winter and early spring. I promptly walked around our property and found that there were plenty of twigs barely hanging onto some of our flowering shrubs and trees, having been blown down by winter winds. I grabbed my sharpest pruning shears and gathered what I could:

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The varying colors of the stems are stunning in the mid-winter light. From left to right my budding twig offerings are as follows:

Hydrangea

Asian Plum

A Rose of Some Sort (Oh gosh! I just don’t know what kind it is!)

Wisteria

Alder (yes?)

And…um…well….er…I just don’t know what the last one is on the right. Another variety of alder?

Ok, so I don’t know all of my trees and shrubs, but 50% isn’t bad. And then Willa caught wind of the spring fever and wanted to pretend she was one of the sticks, too.

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I love how the plum branches have a little moss on them. Did I mention how wet our winters are here?

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The twigs were arranged in the nearest watering pot and placed in one of our favorite windows, under the grape pergola with the twists of vine shadows playing with the mid-day light that floods our dining area.

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The children and I can’t wait to see what blooms we’ll get from our forced twigs. Be sure to get outside, in the upcoming days, to clip a few flowering twigs of your own to bring some spring leaves and blossoms indoors while you wait out the chills of winter to come.

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Special thanks to Frogend Dwellers Blog and Rambling in the Garden for your inspiration. You’ve taken the bite out of winter. I’ve been enjoying your writings immensely.

Oh, and if anyone can help me identify the 3 varietals of twigs I missed, please comment below!

8 thoughts on “Force Winter Twigs For Indoor Spring Color

  1. Haha I wish! All I did was stick them in water in a warm room near a window! We changed the water a few times but that’s it. As soon as the roots were about an inch they went in a tub. I would have liked to let the roots get a little longer, but all the other twigs of different plants had suddenly died off so in a tub they went. Fingers cross they survive the transplantation because otherwise it will have been a pretty rubbish present! 😄

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