Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Brings the Blooming of the Forsythia

Every March and April, my garden lights up with the blooming of the Forsythia. The masses of yellow flowers is a sure sign that spring is just around the corner. Forsythia bloom on leafless branches and the colors of different Forsythias can range from pale yellow to a light orange. The flowers have four lobes or petals. In my area, many people prune their Forsythia bushes into round shapes. In my garden they are allowed to grow into that wonderful large unkempt look that Mother Nature intended. Forsythias do not require much in maintenance and you should avoid excessive pruning. Pruning should be done after flowering by cutting some of the old or unproductive shoots to the ground. Forsythia are easy to grow and any garden soil will do. They prefer full sun but can thrive in partial shade. In my garden, some grow in full sun and others in part shade. The ones in sun produce a few more flowers than than those in part shade. There are Forsythias that range in size from dwarf to about 10 foot in height and you should be able to find a Forsythia that works in your size of garden. I have seen a Forsythia with variegated leaves in a catalogue that I would like to add to the garden in the future. Since Forsythia have plain green leaves, a variegated shrub would provide additional interest for the garden. Forsythia bushes are easy to propagate by layering or taking cuttings if you want to start more for your garden. I always look forward to the blooming of the Forsythia every year because it shows that spring is on the way and the gardening season has just begun.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Return of Spring - 2011

Spring has returned to "Sycamore Gardens". The tulips are starting to bloom.
The grape hyacinths are full of flowers.

This hellebore has been blooming even when we had snow.

I am very excited about this shrub. This is a lilac called "Sensation". This is the first time it has produced flower buds. It has been a seven year wait that is about to end.

The flowering quince in the gardens are showing colors of pink or red depending on the cultivar.

Some of the hostas are really up and growing and others are still waiting for warmer days.

These little primroses are full of flowers.

The wild flowers are blooming in the lawn in large patches of white that looks like snow.

The Cleveland Pears are starting to flower along the drive.

Life is starting to renew itself in the garden. We have a nesting Canada Goose on the roof of the cabin on our property. She has been on the nest for over 2 weeks now.

The ducks on the river are mating up for the breeding season.

The toads are retuning to the ponds for mating. They have started singing at night and will continue for about three weeks. Then the tadpoles will hatch and turn into toads that will start eating the slugs and snails that would eat my hostas.

It's nice to see life retuning to the garden once again (except for the large amount of weeds that are appearing)!

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener

'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood

Years ago, I purchased a very small tree that was only 6 to 8 inches tall. It was a 'Golden Shadows' Pagoda Dogwood. It had beau...