Thursday, April 26, 2012

Let It All Hang Out

Long, unpruned braches curve gracefully downward
As the last flowers of my forsythia fall to the ground, I thought how shapely my shrub has become in bloom and out.  Unlike some of my hollies and boxwoods, I prefer to leave forsythia in its natural state.  Its long slender branches rise up and curve downward with such a graceful form.  I do occasionally prune out extremely vertical limbs, but for the most part I leave it alone.

I drive by so many houses where the forsythia have been pruned severely into unnatural shapes like globes and squares.  Extreme pruning or pruning too late eliminates most of the beautiful yellow spring blooms.  So during bloom time, you will see these clipped shrubs with only tufts of yellow on the top or on the sides where pruning didn't cut as deeply into old growth.  These sparse clusters of blooms remind of a child who tried to cut his own hair.

I say, "let it all hang out".  Put your forsythias in beds and borders where they can take on a more natural shape.  Save your topiary skills for your evergreens.

1 comment:

Laurrie said...

The poor maligned forsythia gets no respect, but I admit I love them. They need to spread and arch as you have let yours do. The pruned ones look tortured and the unkempt ones that have aged into heaps are too common. But nicely maintained and allowed to grow as yours does --- they are great shrubs. Thanks for the reminder of what they can be.