Thursday, January 31, 2013

Warm Winter Wind

After a week of bitter cold, a front moved through and we have had temperatures in the high 50s, up to 60 at one point. There was a lot of wind here (and a lot of storm devastation in the south and midwest).

There was thick fog yesterday, then the wind and warm downpours last night. All of the snow is completely gone. (Gail and I went skiing at Sundown on Tuesday, thank goodness we got a couple hours in on the slopes before the fog and rain and snowmelt.)



I twist-tied the tops of the twig pyramids to the bases. Now the whole thing will probably blow over, not just the tops.

The ground is beyond soupy, and I should not be out there tromping on it.  But I went out in the warm wind to cut branches to force inside.

I cut witch hazel, fragrant honeysuckle, fothergilla, forsythia, and a magnolia blossom. And a few branches of the Dawn viburnum.

I did not follow the instructions in the page at the top of my blog (under pruning). There they advise to put the branches in a bucket of cool water for a while, then bring them in and re-cut the stems while under very hot water. They also advise using florist preservative or making your own.

But.

I just cut them and put them in vases of water. There were so few available to cut on some of the newer or storm damaged shrubs.



I have never ever smelled any fragrance in the teensy red blooms of the 'Diane' hybrid witch hazel. I see them, but barely, as they hide behind the withered brown foliage in winter, but never detected any smell.  Oh well.

I cut a few branches, although my pruning last fall and the storm damage that eliminated so many branches last year meant there weren't many twigs to choose from.

I brought a few in, and as I was putting them in lukewarm water in the warmth of the house, I DID catch a spicy whiff.  Just a little, and I had to have my nose right in the branches.


I wish the plant was big enough, with long enough branches to cut so I could bring in a whole lot of them.

Who could resist bringing a fat magnolia bloom in to force? I had the same issue with the 'Elizabeth' magnolia as with the witch hazel -- it had lost branches in storms, and there were so few branches to sacrifice, but I picked one.



The Lonicera fragrantissima is still such a small shrub with just a few long whippy branches, that I had a hard time finding enough to cut from that plant too. I brought in just a few, and I'm anxious to see if they bloom and what the fragrance is like. I've never smelled it or seen the blooms.

My little shrubbery of branches won't look like this shot from Pottery Barn (I think that's were the original pin was from), but this is my inspiration: