Monday, January 18, 2010

Sleeping Beauties

Just when I’ve had enough of winter weather and snow and ice, the sun pops out and turns it all into a big bowl of sticky chocolate pudding which I wade through on my way to and from the house. For the first time in over a month, I can see more brown than white. The glots of dirt that drip off my boots onto the floor are proof that the sun still shines.

Since I’m feeling hopeful, and the thermometer is above freezing, I decide to bring some sleeping beauties into my house. All I need is a pair of garden shears and an overgrown yard. Dogwoods, forsythia, flowering quince, redbud, witch hazel, hawthorn, honeysuckle, saucer magnolia, star magnolia, crabapple, flowering almond, pussy willow, spirea, lilac and viburnum –any of these will work. After cutting off several branches, I lay them on the sidewalk and pound the cut ends with a hammer. Then I bring them inside and put them in vases all around the house. In a week or two I will have swelling buds and then riotous flowers. I will create a new bouquet each week until the middle of March.
Spring may be several months away, but I can hang on as long as I have the promise of warmer weather blooming in a Mason jar on my kitchen window sill.


  1. Wonderful! I'd love to have such diversity in my small yard! Would you believe I live in the burbs and our single deciduous tree died two years ago? We now have two tiny blue spruce (about three-four feet each) that we've planted the last two Christmases.

    ON the up side, we didn't have tree damage when Hurricane Ike hit Ohio in Sept. 2008!

    BTW, what do you teach? I taught King's speech in my English 102 classes when I was a college instructor.

  2. Well, actually I only have the forsythia and some flowering cherry in my yard, but that list is all of the plants that force easily. I teach middle school English and science.

    If you don't have any trees in your yard, borrow some clippings from neighbors and then present them with a vase of flowers as a thank you :)


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