It felt a little sad on Sunday morning seeing the flowers on Winter Jasmine looking a little washed out and faded, but that was short lived after my morning walk around the back garden where I could see some little golden yellow winter aconite flowers with more lots more to follow. There’s also several groups of daffodils bearing tight buds leaving me wondering who they might be because I’ve planted so many now without labels I will have to wait or look at past photos.
Once the Winter Jasmine flowers have disappeared it won’t be long before another bright yellow flowering shrub will take over signalling the coming of spring and that’s the Forsythia. A very versatile upright arching shrub that bears masses of flower buds along the previous year’s bare woody stems, and those buds are already busy preparing to burst into action round about February.
The forsythia is a deciduous, winter hardy versatile shrub that grows in various shapes and sizes. Its not fussy of soil types and will grow in most well-drained soils, in sun or partial shade, but not too shady.
It can be annually pruned after flowering to form neatly shaped shrubs or even rounded if wanted. To keep a more natural shape and its size in check is to cut out the older tallest stems, removing any dead or crossing branches, also thin out a few of the middle stems too. If left un-pruned it would grow leggy and unruly.
With a little patience it could be trained to grow on trellis or archways and is often grafted to a rootstock to form a single stemmed standard tree too, ideal as a specimen shrub.
Some cultivars are more compact than others like the medium sized Forsythia giraldiana ‘Golden Nugget’, it grows to about five feet tall and planted in a row could easily form a very attractive low growing hedge, or larger Forsythia x intermedia ‘Lynwood’ could be grown to form a larger hedge or both can be grown as free standing shrubs in a shrub border. The dwarf Forsythia x intermedia ‘Minigold’ would be a good choice for a small garden and make a good container plant too for the patio or terrace garden.
Don’t forget if you have any gardening questions we have a ‘Gardener’s Question Time’ in the Coffee Shop next Wednesday afternoon!