Wednesday, April 15, 2015


Maple (foreground), Forsythia Hedge in back.
It's that time of year when the Forsythia is in full raging bloom. Shockingly yellow, this plant adds so much color to the Spring landscape. It's a plant that I would probably not seek out to plant but I acquired it when we moved into our house.

Because of all the Forsythia on our property, I named it appropriately Forsythia Hill. I can see Forsythia out of every window in our house!

New little sprinkling (foreground), established (background).
I have started a few new areas of Forsythia to add a backdrop to my shrub border. I'm creating a mass of shrubs beside our driveway to serve as a buffer to street noise and to provide cover for the birds. Various shrubs have been placed in a mass with a hedge row of native Red Cedar behind. Along side is a wavy sprinkling of Forsythia.  Shrubs include, native Viburnum, Dogwood, Crabapple, Clerodendrum, Lilac, Coralberry, and Carycarpis.

Biggest clump, home to the Mockingbird.
I try to incorporate fruiting natives into my landscape every chance I get. Forsythia is not native to the US, the the vast majority of varieties are native to Asia. It does not provide fruit for the birds but it does create a lot of excitement in the Spring. There is always a Mockingbird trying to defend its Forsythia hedge and plenty of wildlife such as a Fox, Frog, or Ratsnake finding cover.

Viburnum blossom
My personal favorite shrub is Viburnum. Currently, I have planted Hobble Bush, Maple-leaf, and Arrowwood varieties but am always looking to incorporate more. It's a wonderful plant providing color, fragrance, and food and cover for wildlife.

My one tip about Forsythia is to keep it natural and do not clip it into a rigid square box hedge. It will destroy the light sprinkling effect and kill the drama and "messy hair day" flow of this wild shrub. Give it lots of room to romp and it will be appreciated, otherwise it can be a nuisance as the ends "root tip" and wander.

A good ex of how to use Forsythia, on a slope in mass.
Yellow is starting to fade and is being replaced by pinks and reds! The pink Dogwood and Maples have been beautiful this year.

Get out and enjoy SPRING! There is so much to see.


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