One-day wonder

Flowering branches say spring

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One-day wonder

  • One-day wonder

     A

One-day wonder

  • One-day wonder

     B

One-day wonder

  • One-day wonder

     C

TIME: 15 to 20 minutes

COST: About $15 to 20 for a bunch of branches from a florist

MATERIALS

Pruning shears or loppers
Ladder
Vase
Floral preservative

DIRECTIONS

1. Prune your tree. When buds show color or a few flowers are beginning to open, choose a branch that's crowding other branches or is expendable (make certain you don't cut a branch that will ruin the shape of the tree). Use pruning shears to cut small branches, or loppers to remove branches larger than 1 inch in diameter. Cut one branch for a smaller vase and three to five branches for a large vase or floral bucket.

2. If necessary, trim the stem ends to fit the vase. Snip off dead or damaged twigs.

3. On smaller stems, cut a slit in the bottom of the branch to help the stem absorb water more easily. On larger branches (3/4- to 1-inch diameter), lightly hammer the stem end for the same effect.

4. Fill the vase with water and a packaged floral preservative or a solution of 1 tablespoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon bleach in 1 gallon of hot tap water. Arrange the branches.

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