Forcing sounds so violent

So when I bring naked branches indoors in early March I prefer to think of the treatment they get as “encouraging.”

I’ve read plenty of complex directions for forcing branches, but, honestly, all I do is stick them in water, add clean water as necessary, and wait.  I’ve been encouraging these to bloom for the past few days, and they’re shyly beginning to open up.

Our forsythia is still weedy and leggy as it recovers from a brush with the snow plow a few years ago, but there are lots of other things to force . . . er . . . I mean encourage.

Azaleas respond beautifully:

And a few branches of peach blossoms are coming along nicely, even though it’s rather dim in the bathroom. They are in, by the way, my favorite vase, which was apparently made by an eager kindergartner, and for which I paid $2 at a tag sale.  It’s lopsided and misshapen and it leaks a little through its unglazed bottom, and I love the wabi sabi heart of  it.

Some cherry and apple blooms are being somewhat recalcitrant, but there are also a few volunteers in the yard right now.  Second Child brought in this lovely vase of sqills, and these blossomed all on their own, without even being asked.

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