GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - We're a few weeks away, to say the least, when it comes to seeing spring booms pop in our gardens. But you can trick some of them to giving you an early treat.

If you have spring shrubs or trees like forsythia, azalea, pussy willows, even viburnum or cherries you can get some flowers inside now! Not to mention, they're free since you have the source right outside your door!

Here's how:

Cut several branches from your spring shrub or tree of choice as if you were pruning. Use a sharp cutting shear and cut from the inside of the shrub.

Pound the bottom 2" to 3" of the branch with a hammer to smash it. This allows the branch to take up water more efficiently.

Soak the entire branch in the bath tub for a several hours or overnight. Then place in a vase of cool water away from direct sunlight until the buds swell.

Last fill the vase with fresh water and set where you please to enjoy some fresh (and free) blooms indoors.

Have fun!

Here's a full list of some ideas to try:

  • azalea
  • beautybush
  • crab apple
  • flowering quince
  • forsythia
  • magnolia
  • pussy willow
  • redbud
  • rhododendron
  • serviceberry
  • spirea
  • witch hazel
  • cherries
  • pears
  • apples