I'm literally forcing spring to come faster! Well, maybe not spring itself, but I'm at least attempting to encourage some forsythia and pussy willow to bloom a bit early.
This is kind of sad, but I think the first time I heard of forcing blooms at home was on Martha Stewart, last year around this time. I honestly don't like her show very much, but I was watching because my best friend was on air! Her company prunes Martha's own apple trees, so her crew leader, herself, and another worker got to demonstrate. During the show, a bit before that brush with fame, Martha had a segment about forcing blooms. I watched it, thought "hm, that's cool", and promptly forgot all about it.
The idea of hurrying spring along is now back on my radar. Since starting my photography business in earnest, I've noticed I am much more impatient for winter to be over. I crave vibrant, living, GREEN things to photograph. And really nice cut flowers are just too pricey for me to purchase often.
I researched the methods online and started my attack:
- My boss donated the branches from his huge patch of forsythia and an ailing pussy willow that was destined for the chainsaw.
- Once I got home, I mixed up a batch of floral preservative (recipe #3 from here), sans bleach. I don't use bleach in cleaning for environmental reasons, so I didn't have any around the house. It's in the recipe to cut back on bacterial growth - apparently switching the water every couple of days works as well.
- I poured the mixture into my vases, then quickly snipped of the ends of the branches and stuck them into the water. This is cheating a bit - I had read that I should snip the ends while they're already in the water, but I didn't have a big enough bucket.
Now, to wait and see what happens! The pussy willow was already starting to peep out when I snipped it, so I should have a lovely photo subject soon!