Indoor Winter Flower Displays

Brighten the bleak days of late Winter with branches from early- flowering trees and shrubs. The warmth of the house will coax their fresh leaves and delicate blossoms into life.

Even when snow is lying on the ground, and the garden and countryside look their bleakest, the promise of Spring can be created indoors by bringing branches into the warmth. Many early-flowering trees and shrubs can be gently coaxed into producing fresh green foliage, catkins or delicate blossom much earlier than they would in the cold conditions of their natural habitat.

Simple displays of flowering branches and Spring flowers or plants look particularly appealing on windowsills, where they can create a visual contrast with the dormant world outside. Glass tanks make suitable containers, as they allow all of each branch to become part of the composition. Alternatively, simple and robust stoneware pots can provide an effective contrast with the delicate stems.

Essential elements

Warmth and humidity are the vital ingredients when forcing Winter branches. They can simply be kept in water in a well-lit room, at a temperature of 10-16°C (50-60°F), until the buds begin to open, when they can be arranged in a container and brought into a warmer room. Alternatively, a tent of clear plastic sheeting, fixed around the branches, will provide extra humidity to speed the process.

PICK AND PLANT

Sweetly scented

Several Winter-flowering shrubs also have wonderful scents. These include Chinese Witch Hazel (Hamamelis mollis), Winter Sweet (Chimonanthus praecox) and Viburnum bodnantense.

Beautiful blooms

Forsythia and Broom produce masses of tiny flowers, while Japanese Quince has beautiful blooms of coral or red. Dogwood (Comus ‘Siberica) has attractive red bark.

26. July 2013 by Dave Pinkney
Categories: Fruit Trees | Comments Off on Indoor Winter Flower Displays

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