“The Weekly Bleat: Force of Nature”


A few weeks ago, I decided to coax cuttings of a flowering cherry tree into an early performance in order to speed up spring. Persuading plants to flower out of season is known as forcing.  You can either trim branches from your yard or buy them from a florist.  There are a number of flowering trees and shrubs that you can choose for your trimmings.  I have a flowering cherry tree in my front yard.  So, that’s what I used.  However, flowering dogwood, redbud, flowering dogwood, saucer magnolia, flowering quince, or forsythia work well, too.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

1.  Prune on a mild, late-winter day.  Branches are more pliable when temperatures are above freezing.  Most spring bloomers form flower buds on the previous season’s growth.

2.  Look for crowded branches that are no more than 1/2 inch in diameter, with numerous round, plump flower buds.  Thinning is okay.

3.  Place branches in fairly hot tap water, and recut at an angle.  Next, place in a bucket of water with floral preservative.  Store in a cool, dimly lit area like a porch or garage to ease the transition indoors.

4.  When buds begin to swell, bring branches indoors.  Set arrangements in a bright area away from direct sunlight and heating vents.  Change water daily.

5.  Celebrate spring early!  After all, you just fooled Mother Nature.




      • That’s true, and they have tons of personality. Clemmie is so smart and very communicative. She’s also really affectionate. She wraps her paws around my neck and tries to lick my face when I pick her up. And, if I’m sitting down, then she’s usually on my lap. She’s a sweetie! 🙂


      • calicos are very chatty cats. my tuxedo tabby is chatty too. Big Boy is only chatty when he wants to be fed again … which is like every 20 minutes if he had his way. otherwise he has nothing to say to anyone because that would require effort and he’s way too lazy to spend any extra effort other than what he absolutely has to.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I completely know what you’re saying! Clemmie is extremely chatty around meal times. She’s kind of like a hobbit. She wants first, second, and third breakfast! If I don’t give her a treat, then she goes around the room chewing on every cord until I stop ignoring her requests for food (see demands). But I love her anyway! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I know, technically, they’re not flowers, but I have a pussy willow bush in my back yard, and the pussy’s are “blooming” right now. I hope to take trimmings this year and plant them in other parts of the yard, primarily the front.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s really neat how you can take trimmings and transplant them somewhere different, and they grow into another plant. My grandfather did that with a few sprigs of English boxwood a number of years ago. Now we have rather large boxwoods in our backyard. Good luck with your planting!


  2. When I was a young bride in Germany, my elderly neighbour took me into the garden on 3 December to get a “Barbara Strauss” (bouquet for Sr Barbara’s Day). This was a bunch of what I thought were dead twigs, but turned out to be forsythia branches, which bloomed at Christmas. Seems it was a tradition there. Your cat is beautiful.

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s a lovely tradition. I probably could’ve cut my branches earlier. They really only need about 6 weeks of dormancy before they’ll bloom again. That way you can really enjoy spring when the landscape is still winter. Many thanks for your kind comment regarding my cat. She’s a sweetheart.


  3. This is a neat little trick! And, of course, you already knew I was going to be jealous of these pretty pink blooms didn’t you?! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hadn’t never thought about that, now you make me wanna go out and start clipping..lol.. This is a really neat idea thank you for inspiring me:)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Those are beautiful, and apparently…cat-approved. ☺ It seems Mother Nature did that early bloom for us this year. Will have to keep these tips in mind for next Spring. Thanks. 🌺 🌻 🌹 🌷

    Liked by 1 person

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