Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Coaxing Winter

Keeping the candles burning, too

As my contribution to the January Making Winter Bloghop, dreamed up by Silverpebble and Thrifty Household and hosted this month by Emma at Silverpebble, I'll continue my efforts to make winter days cozy by bringing spring a bit early. This requires more patience than effort.

I talked about forcing - er, coaxing lilies of the valley a few weeks ago by digging pips from the garden during a thaw and bringing them into the house...

January 6

...and this is how the two pots look now:

January 24

January 24

See what I mean about patience? It will probably take another 3 or 4 weeks for them to flower - assuming some of these shoots do produce flowers. They don't all in nature, so I've tried to improve my odds by putting lots of pips in the pots.

I've just cut some forsythia branches from our yard, making sure to choose ones with a lot of buds...
See how much our snow has melted?
Sunday night's rainstorm washed a lot away.

...and have put the branches in an old pitcher. Their feet are in water that's had a tiny bit of sugar, citric acid, and bleach added to it to encourage flowering and reduce bacterial growth in the water over the weeks it will take for the forsythia to bloom. I've not amended the water in the past, but I thought I'd try the same concoction I use for flower arrangements.

Even before they flower, I like the look of the branches - kind of wild. I'll keep you posted on progress.

There are some delectable things going on this month in the making winter category; hop over to Emma's and see what's cooking - and what's knitting, sewing, and appreciating.

Update January 27: tiny lily of the valley flower buds!

Update February 4th: forsythia in full flower!

Update February 9th: lilies of the valley blooming and fragrant...mmm.


  1. Thanks for the great idea of bringing spring into the house early. We have had lily in the valley plants in the garden for the past few years but they haven't flowered -not sure if something is eating them! I'll must now dig some up to see if they will be an improvement by bringing some inside.

  2. I have some hyacinths which have popped up again all by themselves. You've reminded me that I should bring them in to enjoy.

  3. Forsythia is so joyful and encouraging in the spring. I love the scent of Lily of the Valley, but don't have any. Sigh.

  4. Those shoots inspire such hope! I really enjoy seeing the signs of spring & never fail to be humbled by the ability of nature to rejuvenate.

    Thank you for joining in with the Making Winter Blog Hop

  5. Gorgeous pitcher! I missed my chance to dig lily of the valley pips before things froze up again.

    The branches do look nice all bare and tangly.


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