Forcing Cherry Blossom Branches

I recently came across some cherry blossom branches for sale at the grocery store.  I pondered the purchase over and over but decided not to purchase them.  Was it silly to buy branches?! Branches that could simply be cut off a tree in someone's backyard!?  I didn't do it.  Then I immediately regretted my decision when I remembered that I don't HAVE a cherry blossom tree in my backyard!   After a friend sent me a picture of the branches she purchased, I went to the kitchen and added 'branches' to my Safeway shopping list.  The next day I ventured out and made my purchase.

I recommend smashing the base of the branches with a hammer.

This makes it easier for the branches to soak up the water.

Using the fun urn that I had my lit branches in at Christmas,  I arranged the branches. I added water and a few rocks to help support the branches.

And here are the branches today...

Aren't they pretty?! And it was so easy!! If it's too late for you to force branches in your part of the country, you can always 'pin' one of these pictures as a reminder for next spring!

And thank you for all of your prayers and concern for my dad.  His surgery went well on Wednesday and he was discharged and able to go home before lunch!  The next step is a PET scan and most likely radiation to his neck.