Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Coaxing catkins

There is a tree in the neighbor's yard that stretches over their fence and intertwines with our ancient lilac bushes. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but in early spring, it has pussy willow or catkin buds on it. (I just looked up pussy willows and still am confused about what is in the neighboring yard. It's a big tree and not in a wetland. So - anyway...)

Two years ago the electric company trimmed tree branches away from the power lines along the back property line and left branches from the neighboring tree in our yard. I was very pleased to get several bunches of pussy willows without even trying.

Because this winter all the plants in our area are way ahead of their normal spring awakening schedule, I checked the back yard yesterday to see if the pussy willows have started opening, and yes!

I've put some in a vase with water (and freshly cut forsythia branches to force) and some in a vase without water. I'm curious how quickly the ones with their feet in water will open. Once they have opened just a bit more, I'll take them out of the water to keep them at the catkin stage.

Pussy willows, forsythia branches, spent Japanese anemone

Edited to add: I think I'll enter this in the last-of-the-season Making Winter Bloghop, hosted by Thrifty Household and Silverpebble. It's not a very wintery post, but then our weather is strikingly not wintery this year.


  1. I surely doesn't feel like we had winter, but I'm still excited to see the signs of Spring. All of my daylilies and lily of the valley are up... Gardeners are such goobers, poised with trowel in hand, waiting for the next growing season.

  2. Wow, I should have proofread that.

  3. Pussy willow are are so lucky to have them so close to hand!

    It's a very confused winter this year but maybe, just maybe spring is on the way...?

    Thanks for linking to the Making Winter Blog hop.

  4. It has been very mild, hasn't it? Although you may have just gotten a boatload of snow. (We only got an inch or so.)

    Lovely catkins - I never know what is properly a pussy willow either.

  5. Whatever kind of catkins they are - and I'm as confused as you are - they are the perfect harbinger of spring. But the colours in this post are still beautifully wintry. The weather's been mild but don't you think that the light is not quite glowing enough yet for spring?


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