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Thursday, February 25, 2010

Stems and Twigs – a Chic Bouquet

Oscar Wilde once said, “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” No discussion about weather although we may not see sunshine until next Tuesday! So let’s get some yellow replicated in our kitchens with a simple remedy for this blah weather.

Annie’s quick tip to add some early spring color: create a chic bouquet with stems and twigs. A month or so in advance of when an early flowering shrub like Forsythia blooms, you can force its buds inside. Forsythia is easily found on many properties and is not difficult to force in a vase. Look for a stem with the most buds. Prune between 1 to 1 ½’ of the tail end of the branch and place in water. Some people add a little bit of sugar to condition the water and add nutrients. The buds start to wake up and eventually bloom for you inside.

Be creative with the shrubs and trees in your yard. As soon as the sap starts to flow, many plants are in the process of waking up. When you see the buds swelling on a shrub or tree’s branches, you could add more of these miscellaneous stems and twigs to your arrangement. This technique also works with flowering Dogwoods, Crabapples, Magnolias, and various early blooming Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Don’t forget to look for one of Annie’s childhood favorites, the wild Pussy Willows.

Be polite with your plants. No serious haircuts, just a trim to create a chic bouquet with stems and twigs. The inspirational thought of the day ends with another Oscar Wilde quote. “Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” Great advice - it leaves lots of room for trial and error!
*(Top image of Forsythia and bottom image of Pussy Willow from internet)
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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)