After a mishap destroyed half my Witch-Alder shrub (Fothergilla major) in front of my porch, rather than throw the branches in the brush pile, I thought I’d try to force them into bloom.
A marvelous native plant, its honey-scented, bottle-brush 1-3″ blooms attract scads of pollinators in May. While the forced blooms weren’t as large as they’d be if attached to their roots, the small, faintly-scented blooms still brought forth the memories of warm days past and ones I anticipate are just around the corner.
It’s the Vernal Equinox in the northern hemisphere and although snow still blankets my area, the sun shines more warmly and the days grow longer. It won’t be long before the snow has melted and green buds will be pushing forth. To my friends in the southern hemisphere, enjoy the cooler days ahead!
Cathy at Rambling In the Garden, who hosts this weekly meme to showcase arrangements created from our gardens, is celebrating her fifth blogiversary. Wander over to wish her well and to see what gardeners all over the world are arranging this week.
Looks like a pretty shrub. I hope that, within several years, it will recover. Happy Spring. Our local nursery won’t have Pansies till April 1st, so I need to be patient another 11 days or so….
Thank you, Alice. Half the shrub was ripped out to repair an electrical breach. 😦 At least the other half is left to carry on. Yes, I’m looking forward to having a few pansies on my doorstep, too.
I like fothergilla and even grew it at one point but deer kept eating it!
Oh, those deer! Mine is right next to the house so I expect that helps deter their munching.
Beautiful arrangement Eliza 🍀🍃
Thank you, Karen!
Nice to get the joy of these tree and already now, when you still have snow, Eliza 🙂
Can I ask, why are there these buckets hanging at the trees?
Hi Irene! The buckets collect sap from maple trees, which is boiled into syrup – very delicious. I wrote a post about the process here: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-103
This sounds very delicious, thank you Eliza 🙂
I’m so glad you’ve found some spring magic to encourage your thoughts of spring Eliza; I’m sure it won’t be long now and your garden will race ahead to catch up with those in warm climes. Nice bonus that it is scented.
Thank you, Christina. It can’t be long now. I noticed a few snowdrops pushing up!
I love these bright green fuzzy buds have opened out into pretty blooms, and with a fragrance too. You must be delighted to be able to share your home with this vase
They are fleeting, but most enjoyable!
What a beautiful plant! The texture of the dark stems next to the feathery white blooms is very attractive. I am going to see if this beautiful shrub will grow in my area:-)
Thank you, Stephanie. It is a great little native – zones 4-8, so I expect it will. It slowly expands by suckers like lilac does, so give it some space.
magic, life and beauty so lovely to see ❤
Yes, indeed. Thank you, Kim. 🙂
Thank you, Marian. A great little native shrub. Do you see many in your area?
Sweet little flowers!
They certainly are. 🙂
Happy spring Eliza!
Thank you, Brenda. It feels like it today. 🙂
Wonderful Eliza! That is my kind of vase — mishap vase arrangement. I don’t think this shrub is quite hardy enough for zone 4? Happy Spring to you! Those beautiful blossoms say a thousand words!
I know what you mean, haha, happens often in a garden. MBG lists fothergilla as zone 4-8, so it may grow for you in NY. It is a native and has done well for me.
That is good news. I can handle z4! I always thought it was only hardy to Z5. Fothergilla here I come!
I recommend south-facing, sheltered from wind… mine has done well with that siting (we are at the northern end of its range). Because it is shrubby/twiggy, I haven’t noticed much of any winterkill. I’m going to try to plant the ripped out pieces around other sites to test how it does.
I really liked this Eliza. Again, I am struck by the composition of your photos.
Thank you very much, Kim. Have a wonderful week!
I so love simplicity – your vase is absolutely delightful 🙂
Thank you, Annette!
Nothing beats forcing something this time of year – spring really isn’t too far away!
I think you’ll see a warm up before us. We still have all that snow from the blizzard. But it was 47 today. Spring is coming right along!
You do have some of the most unique plants, Eliza. What happened to your bush? You didn’t say. And yes we both will soon be out in our gardens puttering around or in my case sweating like no tomorrow. OH for the JOY! GRIN! ❤
Thank you, Amy. A short in the electric line which ran beneath that plant and my garden pond (that hurt!). The whole mess had to be excavated to be patched and soon they will come back and dig a trench across the front yard to at the pole and replace it with a conduit. It is going to a horrible mess and I really don’t look forward to it or the aftermath, with mud everywhere and established plants that will be at risk. A gardener’s nightmare! Argghhh.
Oh, Eliza!!! I’m so truly sorry!!! I understand exactly what you are going through and my heart goes out to you. I was almost in the same predicament when our sewer pipe from the house to the sewer had to be fixed last summer. The first plumber told us the whole front garden had to be dug up. I just about fainted! Thank goodness someone else was recommended and the job could be done without digging up my garden. BIG (((HUGS))) coming your way!!! ❤
Thank you, Amy, I knew you’d feel my predicament!
I’ve never forced cuttings to bloom but your results look well worth the effort!
Thank you, Kris. I couldn’t let it be a total loss. 😉
Another wonderful plant I had forgotten existed, the Fothergilla! I love the branchiness of the arrangement, and spell check is mad about my new adjective.
🙂 A good word, despite what spell check thinks!
Love the common name as well which is new to me. I think everybody calls it Fothergilla where I am from.
Same here – it sounds nicer!
How clever you are to have saved the branches from such a mishap, which would likely make me cry. The arrangement looks lovely and appropriately spring-like.
Thank you! Believe me, I had my moment of despair, but I didn’t melt down as I might have done years ago. Older and wiser, or perhaps more resigned? 😉 It had to be repaired and silly me to plant something over the line in the first place. Live and learn, although I don’t think this problem will ever have to be dealt with again in my lifetime. The original cable was installed in 1981. 🙂
It looks very effetive in a vase Eliza. I have also used forced flowers today, although the Forsythia will probably open in the garden within a week anyway, but I couldn’t wait!
Thank you, Cathy. Why wait? Surround yourself with spring beauty! 🙂
Hi Eliza, so glad you saved the Fothergilla to force the flowers – they make such an impressive vase. It would have been a shame to toss them on the brush pile. Your header photo intrigued me until recently when, after seeing an episode of a programme called Spring Countryfile on TV yesterday, I was able to work out that you were tapping the trees for sap, presumable to make maple syrup which is so delicious.
Thank you, Elizabeth. Here’s a post I wrote about the process: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-103
A good idea to bring them in and not waste them. I like all the twiggyness with the fluffy little flowers. This is a new plant to me. I hope some of it will survive for you.
Thank you, Alison. Half the plant is still in the ground, and I expect it will survive. It is a tough little thing.
Thank you, Belinda!
So pretty and spring-like!
Thank you, Fi!
These are lovely, and the rescue story behind it made me smile. 🙂
Thank you, Judy. The lengths we gardeners will go to, eh? 🙂
I like the flowers!
Dainty little bottle brushes! Thanks, Maria.
Such a sweet reminder of warmth past and future! Perfect for this time of year when winter slowly yields to spring.
Today it feels like it is yielding VERY slowly (windchill -5F). 🙂 Tomorrow will be more seasonable, they say. Thanks, Peter!
I am sorry about your calamity but it looks stunning in a vase. I hope you are getting more spring -like weather now.
Thank you, Chloris. Slowly warming, the temperatures still swing above and below freezing. We had a little snow this morning, followed by rain. This is March weather!
Gorgeous! it’s a bit like a deluxe willow
Yes! 🙂 Good comparison. Thanks, Allison.