Here’s a note I sent to our neighborhood listserv today:
I would hate to think that anyone doesnít realize how easy it is to have flowers indoors in winter if you have flowering trees or bushes outside, so I thought I would share this tip. Do forgive me if ďforcingĒ is something you know all about.Hereís a photo of the vase of forsythia I have in my sitting room: https://picasaweb.google.com/karenschristensen/KarenChristensenSCollection#5569529649180665138. I find this a great pleasure when the snow is deep outside, and Iím sure we enjoy the blossom even more now than in April. All I did was wade through the snow a couple weeks ago and cut a bundle of frozen branches. I put them in water and stuck them on a shelf. Even in my chilly house, they came into bloom after two weeks. You can do this very successfully with crabapple, plum, and pear, too. I always make an Easter tree by forcing those candy-pink crabapple branches.
And if you havenít read Edith Whartonís novel Ethan Frome, itís worth a look if only for the opening chapter, which describes winter in the Berkshire hills over a hundred years ago when winter truly isolated people. The story reminds me how good we have it today. Hereís an online edition: http://www.americanliterature.com/Wharton/EthanFrome/EthanFrome.html.