I am one of those people who does not tolerate the dark and gloomy days of winter very well. My mood, mind, and body all become cold and lethargic. I believe the lengthy dark and cold was one of the prevailing factors that drove me home early from a family relocation to Denmark.
One of my favorite things to do in late winter is to bring a little Spring into the home. Some years I force paperwhites (Narcissus). I also love to start my garden plants indoors. That will be a later posting!
Every year I also like to take advantage of the many spring-flowering shrubs in my garden by bringing some branches in early and forcing them into bloom. I especially have a thing for pussy willows. I grow three varieties as well as curly willow. These shrubs all take so easily to forcing indoors. As a matter of fact I have so many shrubs because willows root so easily in water -I end up planting all my cuttings!
Here's the new cuttings.
A few days later the Fantail pussy willow is opening.
The black pussy willow still has a reddish cast. It will darken in the next day or two.