Thursday, March 29, 2012
In New Hampshire the forsythia are just beginning to bloom, and it is early this year since we had such a long run of warm weather.
Forsythia are ubiquitous in New England but the masses of bright yellow bloom are a wonderful splash of color after the long winter. And they are lovely with the early daffodils and little blue scilla and chionodoxa.
I don't know that there is any trick to growing these flowers, they seem to flourish left to their own devices in an open field.
I only have two complaints with this flower. The first is when they are pruned to square hedges or round balls. The nature of these shrubs is to grow to large graceful masses and the pruning makes them unnatural and ugly.
Forsythia bloom on old wood so although the plants are perfectly hardy here in Northern New England the blossoms are often killed off in a hard winter. It is not uncommon to see a forsythia bare with a little skirt of flowers along the bottom where the branches were protected below the snow line.
I am curious to see how the forsythia fair this spring. We had a mild winter with little snow but there was one week of extreme cold.
New hybrids of forsythia are being developed with hardier flowers, one is called New Hampshire. So perhaps we will see more of these sunny blooms here in the north.