The Way I Like Forsythia
So Courtenay (of The Creek Line House) was all talking about forsythia on facebook over the weekend and she got me thinking about one of the most popular harbingers of spring. NOw, some hate forsythia for its gaudy yellow blooms, but I must say I am a fan. Well, I take that back. I am a half fan of forsythia. When it is shaved like a 50's basketball forward's crew cut -- well that is plain ugly. The little blooms struggle when pruned in fall and the look ends up being a half-hearted yellow, polka dot bikini on the hedge next to the sidewalk. Ugly. Don't do it.
Then there are the forsythia plants that are tortured into perfectly round balls. Those aren't pretty either. You see, forsythia is a showy plant. She likes to wave her arms, chock full of blossoms and great spring like a long lost friend from long ago. She wants to grow big and blousy and taming her just makes a mess of everything. If you are planting a forsythia, give her room to grow and expect her to be bodacious If you choose to heavily prune a forsythia, you might as well rip it out of the ground. It is just uglifying your yard. ...and trust me, that bombacious plant would rather die than be subjected to those pruners every spring.
NOW. Onto the ways I DO like forsythia. First and foremost, I like her wild and I like to see her with friends. A single forsythia can be cute and quaint in a small yard, but the most impressive displays use at least 3 mature bushes (if not 300). The great thing about forsythia is that it starts off as a cheap plant when you first buy it and then it just gets cheaper and cheaper as you propagate it.
Propogation of forsythia is simply a matter of snipping off a new branch (around the size of a pencil that is still green -- not woody) and placing it into the ground in spring. Let the spring rains do their job and by next spring, that little stick should show off with its own little flower show. Plant 100 of these in a field and WOW - spring has ARRIVED.
|Budded bush ready to bloom when forsythia show is over (See the yellow in the background?)|
Like I said though, I prefer forsythia in GIANT drifts, so my favorite stand around here is that of "the farmer". We know his name, but prefer to just refer to him as "the farmer" - king of his cattle domain and certainly duke of forsythia each spring. Now tell me THAT isn't pretty.
NOW. If you must torture your forsythia by pruning it when it is small, please PLEASE at least prune right after they bloom in spring so that you won't lose blooms on NEXT year's plants. These little balls of yellow are ALMOST ok :) (...but you REALLY, really should let your forsythia live free. At least that is the way I like it.)
PS - Did you enter yesterday's giveaway for a $50 AMEX card?
CLICK HERE and scroll to the bottom for the entry rafflecopter form.