Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Feeling Winter, Thinking Spring

Winter is here in full force, even in North Carolina.   Many parts of the country are covered in snow.  My friend Liisa in Sweden said the temperature was going down to -40 celsius, which is also -40 fahrenheit.  That's COLD!!!

Spring is a long way off for most of us, but I have a way to force spring to come to my house a little early this year.

On Saturday I cut off a few forsythia branches and brought them inside.  I smashed the ends of the stems so that they will absorb more water, and put them in a vase.  This process is called "forcing".

Already there is a little bit of green beginning to show in the buds.

It didn't cost me a cent and I'll get lots of enjoyment from it.

My mother,whose name was Barbara used to bring a few branches of forsythia in and force it just like I did.  She always mentioned it had something to do with Saint Barbara's Day.  The legend was that you cut some branches on Dec 4 and if they bloomed on Christmas Day you would have good luck the next year. You can read about the legend here if you're interested.
So today as I look out on a cold day, I have a promise of spring in my home.

Is there anything you do to try to bring spring into your home?

Rhondi xo


  1. Cleaning and decluttering right now. I do have an amaryllis that I'm waiting for. :)

  2. Rhondi,
    Great idea. I have been looking through gardening books and seeing what new plants I would like to try. Also, on my blog I am asking about African Violets. Do you know about getting them to bloom again? I have one and would like more houseplants, too.

  3. What a wonderful idea! I will have to give that a try. Thank you for sharing! Have a wonderful day ;)

  4. Oh dear! I still have three Christmas trees up! My son from MN is coming out on the 15th for a ski week and it has been more than 15 years since he has experienced my decorated trees ........... SO it will be a while longer before I think Spring.

  5. What a great idea...I don't have any forsythia, lilacs or anything like that to force. Landscaping will be the next big project this spring, summer and fall.

    Right now I am just enjoying the winter. I will probably get tired of it in another couple of weeks though. Then I will probably start buying tulips and hyacinths from the grocery store.

  6. Thank you for that great idea, I will go out tomorrow morning and get a few branches of forsythia, which is just outside the kitchen door, and try that. We have about a foot of snow presently and it is still snowing!!

    Jackie in UK

  7. Rhondi.....That's a great idea! I noticed that my forsythia started to bloom outside in early Dec because of such warm temps. I love the idea of bringing in the house a little bit of Spring! Stay warm....another snow event coming to Ohio!~Patti

  8. I miss the NC winters - but I've heard they've been BAD this year!? I used to gloat how much nicer it was down there in January to all my friends who stayed in New England. Sadly, Budapest is colder than both - I guess karma does come around!

  9. Rhondi, I don't have forsythia in my garden or I would definitely try this. I do have a couple of amaryllis growing inside. I'm waiting for bloms. I also have cyclamen that I keep inside until they begin to get yellow leaves. I planted six in the garden yesterday as it was time for them to be outside. Cyclamen are the perfect winter bloom for us here in Texas. They'll bloom into June usually. I buy them and use them in arrangements in our home for the holidays, then transplant them in the garden after a few weeks. I've more to move outside, but that will have to wait till next week.
    Such a beautiful setting on your table which always makes me feel like I want to be there. ~ Srah

  10. Hi there....dropped in on your blog from Front Porches and am enjoying looking through it. I WISH I had some forsythia to pluck from my yard and enjoy inside. :)

    Happy New Year from Houston,TX

  11. I wanted to stop by and say Happy New Year!
    I haven't been by for a while and will try better in 2010.

    Wishing you the best,

  12. I wished we had that bush here, but it would be so covered with snow we could not find it. I like bringing bright colors out now to brighten things up.


  13. What a lovely idea. I wonder if I can find some forsythia branches in my neck of the woods that I could bring inside and try that with.

  14. The yellow of the forsythia will look so pretty with the blue and white tablescape. I have an amaryllis bulb that I'm forcing in the sunroom. I usually try to have it blooming by Christmas, but I started late this year.

  15. We don't usually have this much cold, but Florida has been bitten by the frost bug this year. After Christmas decorations come down, I usually start putting spring things up in my home. With mild winters, the Azaleas will bloom which gives a breath of spring.


  16. I think decluttering is at the top of everyones list. I know it's on mine! I wonder if I can force some forsythia here in MI now? I have never heard of forcing them this early.

  17. What a wonderful idea. My mother grows this in her garden, I will pass on this to her aswell, thank you :)

  18. I love to force forsythia and cherry blossoms. The forerunners of spring are such a delight.

  19. Beautiful idea. Rhondi. Every time I visit you it feels like Spring with your lovely dishes on your header. I am just crazy about them. When I want a big smile I come visit Rhondi.
    Blessings and stay warm.

  20. We can't force forsythia until at least April! I don't dare think about spring...
    Hope you show the forsythia again when it is in bloom...

  21. I've never done this. I'm going to try it. It may have already turned too cold to cut any forsythia branches. I look forward to seieng how yours does. laurie


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