Sunday, April 01, 2007

Meet. . . Forsythia!

Forsythia x intermedia is commonly known as forsythia---nice and easy! Forsythia is a favorite spring blooming shrub; it’s vibrant, yellow color shouts, “Sunshine and warmth are here at last!”

Forsythia do best in a well amended garden soil with moderate moisture. Although they are not featured on the lists of xeric (drought tolerant) plants, I believe that they are quite adaptable to low water situations. Not only do I see them blooming like crazy in rather poorly maintained landscapes, but I’ve also seen them thriving in harsh growing conditions in Santa Fe, New Mexico---a city with less natural precipitation and more severe watering restrictions than Denver has. Two varieties that do well here are 'Spring Glory' and 'Northern Gold'.

A few tips on selecting a site for a forsythia:
1. Choose a protected location that will give it a fighting chance against our late snows.
2. Give it plenty of space. Most forsythia will get 8 feet or more in diameter.
3. Maintain them in their natural, vase/weeping form. It’s incredibly sad to see forsythia hacked into little balls or pillars (see item #2 above!).
4. Forsythia are ideal specimen (single, focal point) plants. Surround them with low growing shrubs such as blue rug juniper (Juniperus horizontalis ‘Wiltonii’), or an herbaceous groundcover such as bronze-leaf ajuga (Ajuga reptans) or Turkish veronica (Veronica liwanensis).

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