Sunday, March 15, 2009

Forsaken Forsythia



Was there ever a plant more derided by garden snobs?

Brassy

Common

Vulgar

The really low blow:

Suburban!

Well, I don't get it. When we bought our garden (and the house in it) we found a large stand of forsythia along the back fence. The bright flowers on the arching branches are cheerful harbingers of Spring, in my book. I don't know what variety we have, but I suspect it's the loathed Forsythia x intermedia that horrifies the aesthetes of the botanical world.

To me, a blooming spray of forsythia against the sky is a fountain of light.

25 comments:

Town Mouse said...

When I was a child in Germany, my mother had forsythia in the garden. No matter how miserable, gray, and damp dark cold it was, those flowers cheered us up. Common? So what! Spring is common too. Still wouldn't want to do without it.

Randy Emmitt said...

Saw a huge hedge of them on Friday it was breath taking. Thanks for this posting...

Janet said...

I htink forsythia is bright and cheery!

flowergardengirl said...

I love forsythia. There is a white one now but the yellow is the prettiest.

Katie said...

I love the Forsythia that we inherited when we purchased our house. It's a harbinger of Spring, and looks great year round. I agree with you!

Heather said...

I love them too. Ditto all the above comments. I like them and have recently planted a dwarf variety. Nice to see that burst of color after all that snow.
-Heather

Daffodil Planter said...

Glad we're all on the same horticultural page!

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Heather! Dwarf forsythia sounds good--one of the reasons people take against forsythia is the big and bigger aspect of the plant. P.S. I have a goat post coming up soon, so check back in.

Jenny said...

Forsythias are wonderful unless they are pruned into cubes or anything else geometric. (Dodecahedrons, for instance.)

Michelle said...

I think forsythia is beautiful! You don't see much of it in coastal CA, maybe it likes colder winters. Personally, I don't think any flowering plants can be too colorful.

SusanGardenChick said...

Forsythia are considered common? I didn't know that, and I pride myself on being a garden snob. Thank you for the tip, I will add this to my of plants to sneeringly reject when a client requests one for their garden.

Alice Joyce said...

Growing up in a true city neighborhood in Chicago, I remember one blooming plant that illuminated my walk to school.... and that was forsythia!

Rob (ourfrenchgarden) said...

I like Forsythia, it's everywhere over here at the moment and that's just fine with me. It's my spring bling! Love it.

Rob

tina said...

Funny and true post. I like forsythia, but their bloom period is so darned short. Maybe that is the issue? I have one and I can tell you it almost lost its spot in my garden last fall. Instead I moved it to another location, we'll see how I feel later.

Ginger said...

"the really low blow: suburban" - that is hilarious! I love these, too, even though I don't have any in my yard (yet).

Pam Kersting said...

I love forsythias! Look forward to them blooming each Spring. Although I will agree that they are not just for any landscape. They won't do in small residential applications. They need lots of elbow room. Put them in a mass of three or more and you can achieve a stunning effect!! Nothing is prettier indoors, either, than a vase of bright yellow forsythia flowers! Thanks for finding me Daffodil Planter! Don't be a stranger!

Grace Peterson said...

You're right. It's a beauty. Who cares what the hoity toity think anyway?

flowrgirl1 said...

i love forsythia too! Im not sure how one could hate that happy yellow in spring!

VW said...

Well, someone has to be the oddball in the opinion poll here, so I'll take the job. I don't like forsythia. Soften that, I just wouldn't ever plant it in my yard. I think it's too big for most suburban plots (why is it labeled 'suburban', then?), though it would be nice out in a rural setting on a few acres. And spring doesn't feel so common right now. My brown lawn is covered in white again this morning - from hail this time, not snow - and spring temps seem like they'll never come. Grouse, grumble, etc. With my long winters, I shouldn't turn up my nose at any early bloomer, but I still can't make myself like forsthia!

Daffodil Planter said...

I enjoyed reading your insightful and entertaining comments on forsythia! As for garden snobs (and Susan Garden Chick was kidding there) I bet we all have some sliver of that, and we can let it out in a future post I am planning.

Daffodil Planter said...

Welcome Pam, Good advice on planting a trio or more. That is what someone did in our garden and we have a great display. I do forget to cut and bring in, so thank you for that reminder.

Daffodil Planter said...

VW, Your comment came in while I was counting noses and thinking that we all agreed.

First of all, spring is far too late in Spokane this year! My uncle there was feeding his horses on a zero degree morning last week (which cooled my envy of what you can grow there with abandon in the summer).

The term "suburban" I think is a throwback to the Edwardian definition, as in people who thought that an acre or two outside of London was an adequate garden, as opposed to something involving hectares and deer parks. I think one forsythia, given elbow room, can enhance a small garden.

But for a gem of a winter bloomer I imagine most would vote for Hemerocallis or Quince.

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

I'm not a huge forsythia fan BUT I see them on BOTH sides of my fence, in neighbors yards, and they are blooming right now--it looks gorgeous out back! I even went so far as to plan one several years ago, in semi-shade. It is beginning to open up right now, but is slightly later in blooming. It hasn't grown large (due to less sun) and that's actually what I like about it. It just takes up a little space and sends out a few new shoots each year. If it gets wider than I like, I trim it back. It's not my favorite, but I like the touch of spring color.

Daffodil Planter said...

Jan, Sounds like you have the perfect forsythia situation, like Goldilocks.

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

I personally love forsythia when it's in bloom. It reminds me of spring in New England. :) I inherited a large stand in this garden and other than the LOT of pruning it needs throughout the year, I enjoy it immensely.