December fourth is the feast day of Saint Barbara. There is a vivid legend about this saint. Apparently, Saint Barbara was a maiden of great beauty whose father locked her in a tower to remove her from many ardent suitors who were not to his liking. He also wanted keep her from indulging in a habit of constantly helping the poor.
In Germany there is a great tradition in St. Barbara's Day.
The early days of December are good for bringing in flowering branches for forcing to bloom. Apple, chestnut, cherry, lilac and jasmine branches are well suited for that. If outdoor temperatures have been around 32 to 40 F for six weeks, most buds are ready for forcing. Cut stems on a mild, none-freezing day. Look for branches with swollen buds. Mash the ends and put the branches in a bathtub of cool, not icy, water for several hours. Leave branches for a few days in a cool place. As soon as the buds appear to swell bring them into a warm room, but not too close to the source of heat. Spray from time to time with lukewarm water, and when the bloom buds appear, place them on a window sill for they need a lot of light and cool air, so that the bloom will stay fresh longer. Change water every two days. Thin branches force quicker than thick ones; the flowers should appear anywhere from one to five weeks later.
All the best
Your GeoResources Team
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