Force twigs

Can't bear to clip off branches that may bloom, even if you know you should to keep a plant shaped and thinned? Enjoy them as cut flowers.

Cut some vase length budded twigs, peel the bark from the base of the branch so it can more readily absorb water, then set them in deep water in the sun. Change the water daily.

Below, left: Lilac flower buds coming, the fourth and fifth day after being vased. Below, right: Cornelian cherry (Cornus mas) and Forsythia join the show.

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And here's the lilac at 13 days, the Forsythia at 8 days.

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