Forsythia, although a native shrub of China, has become a favourite and familiar flower in many English cottage gardens.
During the month of March it cuts a dash that seems daring and a bit brash in an in your face kind of way. But I must admit I like it’s vividness and verve – especially at this raring to go and ready for the off time of year.
Forsythia has fairly small-scale yellow flowers, but they have a brilliancy in a shouty-outy sort of way, they are profuse and shine forth. It is a shrub trying to be a tree and needs quite a generous space with room to sprawl so that it can extend upwards – spreading its long thin arms skywards. These wilful wands wave any which way – with wafts of starry magic scattering sunshine all about.
It comes into bud in early spring when the lengthening days are becoming warmer and wetter. If you bring budded branches into the home the flowers will open sooner and bring into your house their happy sparkly brightness.
I like to combine the Forsythia with the soft yellowy-grey-green catkins of another small-tree type shrub – a mini weeping willow (salix caprea Kilmarnock) and together with the Forsythia they makes a complementary arrangement. I used my rectangular glass vase which seemed to suit the purpose and I’ve also added in some mini daffodils (narcissus Tete a Tete) for a bit of extra liveliness. All these plants grow in my small garden and they all come out at around the same time; announcing that spring has finally arrived.
Art Garfunkel sings poignantly his poetic song and elegy ‘April Come She Will’ foretelling and following the forthcoming months – capturing both seasonal change and future fates. This remarkable performance, accompanied on guitar by Paul Simon, was sung live at a concert given in Central Park, New York in 1981.