An easy way to leap into spring is to trick certain plants into blooming early indoors. Cutting branches of ornamental shrubs and trees in February and March is also a great way to get a head start on the season. Take advantage of some of the mild days in March to prune out old wood that is more easily identified in the winter months. The tips of those branches will have flower buds on them from last years growing season.
By putting the branches in water in a warm room (not in direct sunlight), the buds will break dormancy early providing you with a burst of color. Plants most favorable to "forcing" include Forsythia, Cherry, Crabapple, and Quince. Even though the vernal (spring) equinox is only a matter of weeks away, climate change has weathermen guessing what is Mother Nature's next move. Taking a moment to bring the beauty of nature indoors reminds us, while Mother Nature may be unpredictable, the simplicity of sunlight and water can evoke something constant.