Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Blooming Branches

Each year, when the crocuses begin poking up out of the snow, I dig out my silk forsythia branches.  For me this is the bit of Spring I need to get me through until I can cut some real blooming branches.  Booming branches are big in decorating this season.  This month Pottery Barn had blooming branches in just about every page of their new catalogue.
Incorporating blooming branches in your decor this Spring is easy and will add a fresh look to your home. 
Basically you have three options when it comes to blooming branches. 
The first option is silk or aartificial.  There are some amazing and very life like artificial silks, but they can be a bit spendy.  However, if you plan on using them season after season, they are worth the price. 

Check out these beautiful faux options from Pottery Barn.

Your second option is real blooming branches.  Blooming branches can be purchased from your local florist, or you can force branches pruned from your yard.   Forcing branches is relatively easy.  Each Fall, trees and shrubs produce the buds that will blossom in spring.  After about 8 weeks of temps below 40 degrees branches are capable of blooming.  To force your branches, prune, (with sharp pruners), branches that are at least 12 inches long with lots of large round buds.  Be careful while you prune that you do not ruin the shape of your shrub or tree.  Take the branches in doors and if possible completely submerge them in the bathtub overnight.  If you would rather not use your tub, you can place the branches in a bucket of water and mist them over the course of a few days.  This helps break the dormancy.  Then next step is to allow the flowers to drink and begin to bloom.  Freshly cut the bottom of the branches, then cut an 'x' on the bottom.   Place the branches in a cool fairly humid area.  Warm locations and arid climate, such as heat vents, can cause the buds to dry out and fall off the branches.  Change the water often.  Clean water makes healthier flowers!  Your branches will begin to show color, the bloom!  Remember, where you live will determine when and what type of blooming branch you can force. 

Option number three is creating your own blooming branches.  This is easier than it sounds.  Your local craft store will have everything you need.  First thing you will need is your branch.  I love curly willow or Mitsumata.  The next step is finding your bloom!  The flowers you select will determine the look of your arrangement. You can purchase single silk flowers such as mini gerberas, a silk stem of flowers with several small blooms per stem such as delphinium, or if you are really ambitious, you can make your own blooms from paper.  Attach your blossoms to your branches with hot glue.  Check out this DIY!  LOVE IT!


I have had such fun looking at all these beautiful options.  You really should add a vase of blooming branches to your home.  Blooming branches are a easy way to update your decor this Spring