31 JANUARY 1941, Page 11


Indoor Branches

Early forced flowers tend to be more and more expensive. Branches of spring-flowering shrubs, brought into the house now, wil develop flowers with astonishing rapidity, and will give a good deal of pleasure. Forsythia, to all appearances dead for the winter, will begin to show lemon-green buds in about seven days, and will flower for some weeks. Flowering-currant is a little slower ; almond is quite quick, the cherry-tinged buds charming; prunus, cherries and pyrus japonica are all suitable. It is a good thing to cut varieties in order of flowering, beginning with forsythia and working up to the later varieties, such as prunus. A little bruising of the wood will help to quicken the flowering. Of catkins, both hazel, which came out before Christ- mas, and pussy willow, are the obvious choices. But alder should be tried. Its rich dark tawny purple tassels would make an excellent foil for the stars of forsythia or the flowers of the currant, which, when forced, are white.