Southern Winter Blooms

It is that time of year. Time to bring in some of the branches from your forsythia and quince branches and force them to bloom inside!

I love the early Spring when the first blooms begin and bringing in a few branches to get an early start just gets the fun started sooner.

The quince and forsythia are fabulous for some January color:


So, how do you force these pretties to bloom a little early?

On a day when the temperature is above freezing, cut a few branches from your forsythia or quince.  Bring the branches inside and put them in water.

Remove a branch from the water and re-cut the end. Pound the end of the branch with a hammer so that it will be able to get enough water.  Place the branch in a vase with water. Repeat this for each branch.

Change the water every couple of days for lasting color. In about two weeks you will begin to see the buds about to burst on the branches. Before long the shrubs branches will be blooming and there will be beautiful spring color in your home. The forced branches should last several weeks inside for your enjoyment.

That is all there is to it. A wonderful glimpse of Spring in the middle of Winter! Need some more pink?

Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound
Pink Saturday with Beverly at How Sweet the Sound

Today’s Lagniappe: Quince Liqueur

Quince is a late Fall, early Winter fruit. This recipe is from the French Farmhouse Cookbook

2 large quinces
1 cup sugar
2 cups vodka

1. Cut the quinces lengthwise in quarters, then mince or grate them (skins and seeds included) in a food processor. Place them in a jar with at least a 2 ½-quart capacity-you need room for shaking. Add the vodka, then the sugar, and shake vigorously. Keep the jar in a cool, shadowed place.

2. Shake the contents of the jar every other day for 10 days, then when you think of it after that, about once a week for at least 4 additional weeks. Strain the eau-de-vie through a sieve lined with a double thickness of dampened cheesecloth, into a sterilized bottle. Seal with a cork.

3. The ratafia de coings will keep indefinitely. A sediment will form on the bottom of the bottle over time. Don’t be concerned, just pour carefully so it doesn’t cloud the individual glasses of eau-de-vie.

About 3 ½ cups

A note: Work quickly to get the grated quince in the vodka, as the flesh turns brown very fast!






12 responses to “Southern Winter Blooms”

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  4. Joyce M Avatar

    Illinois is experiencing gray days and snow and ice everywhere. Ahh, Pink Quince and yellow Forsythia photos posted on your blog made me smile.
    Joyce M

  5. CC Avatar

    Thank you for the tips. It’s been so cold here,I could use a touch of pretty flowers. Hurry spring!!!! Happy Pink Saturday,have a wonderful weekend.

  6. Beth Avatar

    Your flower photos are LOVELY!!! and your homemade liqueurs sounds WONDERFUL!
    Happy Pink Saturday!

  7. Betty Avatar

    See how much I know? I didn’t think forsythia grew in the south. We always had it in NJ growing up and I have a few pieces of artificial forsythia, but other than that I’ve never seen it in Texas. Most be too warm for it in my part of the state. Happy Pink Saturday!

  8. Mumsy Avatar

    Thank you for the tips! They do look fantastic..I love the pink quince!

  9. char Avatar

    Oh I just love forsythia, it’s my favorite color and is so beautiful. When we grew it I would cut the blooms before they opened and put the long stems inside to enjoy. what a lucky girl you are to be able to look forward to that, Happy PInk Saturday, Char

  10. Mimi Avatar

    ?Happy Pink Saturday?

    Gloomy and gray over in my neck of the woods today so all of the pinks shared this Saturday are so special and cheerful. They remind me that there are more colors than just white, gray and black.Your pinks are wonderful! My goodness – so special?

    I hope your weekend is filled with sunshine surrounded by the laugher of those you love.

    Please pray for the people of Haiti. May God bless each and every soul.

  11. Yvonne Avatar

    Happy Pink Saturday, Christi,
    Love this post! I am not sure if I can force spring sprigs this early in Pa. But I am going to try! I love having a spring preview.

    You lagniappe to day is wonderful. I have just recently taken to makiing my own liqueurs. Yummy!

    Today I am highlighting you blog on my Pink Saturday post.

  12. Mary Avatar

    What a great tip. Thanks for sharing that with us. I hope you have a wonderful Pink Saturday.

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