Saturday, April 28, 2012

Forsythia Musings

It is hard to live far away from family, so I always enjoy every visitor I get from the Netherlands.

A number of years ago, my mom and my cousin came to visit and we had a great time. We did a lot of sightseeing, and caught up on family happenings. Before she left, my cousin got me a forsythia and planted it for me.


Not only is it a great memory of her and her visit, but it also brings me back to the Netherlands, where I have always seen so many flowers in the spring (and summer). When I moved to the US, one of the things I noticed is that a lot less people here had flower gardens. Instead of flowers in their front and back yard, they mostly seemed to have grass. What fun is that???? A boring lawn?! That you have to MOW!!!?

By now I am more used to the American law habit, and I have seen nice flower gardens here too, but I am still a bit wishful about the Dutch flower abundance I grew up with. This forsythia helps me to deal with that wishfulness.


Fast forward many years, having a baby, getting divorced, trying to sell the house, transition to public school, yada, yada, yada. In between all that, my garden was not always the focus of my life.

The forsythia didn't care, and kept growing anyway, showering us with bright yellow flowers each spring.


This year spring arrived early, and the forsythia bloomed early too, and by now most of the blooms have passed. I vaguely remembered something about pruning it after the blooms are done, so I had that on my mental list to do soon. But when I actually looked at the plant, I realized that it had not suffered at all from my neglect, but seemed to be doing Very Well Indeed.


In addition to the main bush, there were tons of baby plants all around the plant and farther away! I decided to ask my trusted friend Google whether I could just take those and plant them somewhere else and found out that those baby plants are called offsets, that forsythia is the Easiest Plant Evuh to propagate, and that sure, I could take those offsets and plant them somewhere else.


My favorite forsythia quote in my search came from Gardenweb: "We enjoy the flowers in spring.. then hack the heck out of it after the show ... In your case ... it isnt much of a show.. so get to work .... You cant kill them .. so dont give that another thought ... "

Reading that quote gave me the confidence that forsythia is fine whatever I do to it, and it would be totally fun and acceptable to dig up some offsets and start a new bush somewhere else. I chose a spot next to me driveway and did just that. Let's see whether I can get forsythia flowers there next spring.


I had some left over mulch and started mulching a nearby flowerbed. I think these are peonies, I will have to get one of those peony cases for when they grow bigger. Adding it to my list right now.


I also want to find other spots in the yard where I want forsythia, I still have a lot of offsets left.
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