Collect branches of March-blooming shrubs for forcing into flower indoors.

Collect branches of March-blooming shrubs for forcing into flower indoors.

Early-flowering plants such as quince, Japanese apricot, winter jasmine and pussy willows can be harvested now, but wait until buds have swollen before cutting others, including saucer magnolias, forsythia and, later, apple and cherry blossoms.

Open a bud to see if petals have fully formed. Place stems in warm water, and keep the vase in a cool room for a longer display.