Forcing Flowering Woody Branches Indoors
Extend the season by forcing branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs to flower indoors.
For a colorful display in midwinter, cut branches from spring-blooming trees and shrubs and bring them inside. With a little bit of help, you can force them to bloom earlier indoors.
Pussy willows are a good choice for forcing inside. The stems are tough and woody, so crush the cut end with a hammer or cut into it with clippers to help the branches take up water once they're placed in a vase. Cherry, flowering quince and forsythia stems can also be cut and forced in the same way.
Place prepared stems in a vase of warm water in a well-lighted room. A drop or two of hydrogen peroxide will speed the blooming process. If you want the blooms to last longer, place the cut branches in a cool room in low light.
You can also cut pussy willow branches off the plant at exactly the stage you want them. Bring them indoors, but don't put the branches in water. Just spray them with hairspray, arrange them in a vase or similar container and they'll last a long time.
Forcing Bulbs Indoors
Force spring-blooming bulbs indoors so you can enjoy their beauty ahead of schedule.
Winter-Hardy Tropical Plants
Many of the plants that project the tropical look aren't winter hardy below 15 to 20 degrees (USDA Zone 8). But many of these plants make excellent houseplants and can be overwintered in the home, spending summers in your garden.
Barking Up the Right Tree
The beauty of unclothed deciduous trees includes one of their most overlooked but dramatic features: the bark. Especially in winter, the many colors, textures and patterns of bark in selected species seem to take on a whole new beauty.
Growing Food Through the Cold Season
Your garden doesn't have to stop producing just because the cold weather has arrived.
Learn about several plant varieties and the planting information for each zone.
Unusual Summer Perennials
These little-known plants can help pull any gardener out of a planting rut.
Spring Colors for the Garden
Paul James, host of HGTV's Gardening by the Yard, shares a list of some of his favorite spring-blooming plants.
How to Build a Sled From a Pair of Old Skis and a Wheelbarrow
Attach a wheelbarrow bucket to an old pair of skis to make a custom sled to hit the slopes in style.
Cleanup and Compost Tips
Getting your garden ready for winter isn't a major chore -- but it will save you ample time and energy when the next growing season rolls around.
Foolproof Color for the Summer Garden
Brighten your summer garden with these colorful winning plants.
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- Spring Home Maintenance Guide
- Spring Colors for the Garden
- Keeping Lawn and Garden Tools in Shape
- Flowering Bulbs Planted in Spring
- Quick-Growing Spring and Fall Vegetables