Monday, April 6, 2009

Not So Fast...

After returning from our trip to the Farm, I surveyed the sad state of our lawn. Years of splitting my time between pursing my master's degree and run-a-way toddlers, our lawn has been all but neglected. I've never been much for lawn care per se but it is looking rather thin. My Little Rose and I decided to rake up some of the thatch and overseed with a hardy grass seed. Afterwards we wandered the yard looking for "bugs and blooms."

"Little Rose"

The forsythia, or golden bell, is one of my early spring favorites. It sits on the edge of our property, probably more so in the neighbors yard. Little Rose and I convinced the neighbor in question to allow us to care for the forsythia, saving it from it's usual severe trimming. We have allowed it to shape naturally and have carefully chosen a couple older branches to prune out. In a couple years, it should be returned to its full glory. Forsythia bloom on old growth wood so wait to prune until after the plant has finishing its take to pruning. Each year survey the plant and prune back approxiamately one fourth of the oldest stems to withing four inches of the ground.

Forsythia branches can also be cut and forced to open indoors in vase. Choose a branch near the top of the plant with closely spaced buds. Cut the entire branch, trim away buds that will be submerged, re-cut branch on the slant, and immediately place in a vase of cool water. In a day or so, re-cut again on the slant and palce in warm water and in a sunny place in your home. The beautiful yellow blosooms will appear - hope that Spring is on its way. The cut branches may even root, allowing you to plant the trimmed branch.

This year, a Spring snow storm attempted to steal away the golden flowers alreadying blooming. A very heavy, wet snow blanketed the area just a week after the first photos were taken. I thought the forsythia was just as beautiful laced in ice and snow. As much as I have anticipated Spring and the coming warmth and sun of summer, mother nature reminds me who is really in charge and blows a last cool breath of winter wind.

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