It's still gray here. We've had rain and snow in the past week. And it's March, so we can look forward to more of the same, then mud. Yuck.
I was desperate for some blooms this past week, and I'd read that you could force forsythia and other flowering shrubs if you brought them inside. So about a week ago I cut some branches, brought them in, and put them in a vase of warm water. The picture below left is what they looked like when I first cut them. The middle is how they looked a few days later. And the right is how they looked this morning.
In all, it took about a week for them to blossom. When I read about this the recommendation was to cut the branches on a day that was above freezing, put them in warm water, then re-cut them while holding them under the water. Then they recommended putting them in floral preservative. I took the quick and easy (lazy?) route by just cutting them and putting them in water. (I did cut them on a warm-ish day.) Probably it would work better to cut and re-cut them as recommended, but it DOES work to just cut and put in a vase.
Make sure you choose branches that have lots of buds on them. I cut several long branches and a few short ones for tiny arrangements. The burst of color is such a boost on a rainy day like today. If you're still a month away from a green and blooming yard, remember that you're only a week away from enjoying an indoor spring! Let me know if you try this and what types of plants you were able to force! Have fun!