Today’s sunshine and crisp nip in the air reminds me that it is almost time to trim my Forsythia bush and bring some branches inside to coax into bloom. It’s a longstanding tradition in my house to pick branches on Remembrance Day, to plan to have flowers over Christmas. A quick search on the subject online offers a host of advice, but much of it is irrelevant here in BC. For example, one site suggested that the ideal time to force this plant is February, by which time our plants are already naturally in bloom. They also give complicated instructions on how to achieve forced blooms… I had no idea that it was so difficult.
My approach is simply to trim a reasonable bunch of branches off the bush on a sunny day this time of year. These are generally between 18-14 inches in length, since that’s what looks nice in a vase. Then I take them inside and put them in a vase with lukewarm water. Put them somewhere that I can admire them, check on the water level every now and then and that’s really it. Very complicated. It’ll take a few weeks, and then presto – you’ll have gorgeous sunshine yellow flowers on delicate arching twiggy branches, just when you need a little light. If you start two batches, about a month apart, you can have some in January as well. Sometimes the simplest things are the most satisfying.
As a side note, I’ve run into a few garden snobs who like to pronounce this plant name “for-sith-ya.”, with a short “I” in the middle. Perhaps they think it sounds more British. However, a true garden gnome would know that this plant is named in honour of William Forsyth, a Scottish botanist and horticulturist who lived in the 1700s. Among his other accomplishments, he was a royal head gardener and a founding member of the Royal Horticultural Society. So it’s definitely “For-syth-ya”…. I wonder if he ever brought an armload of the bare, woody branches in to try forcing them… and I wonder what his irritated wife thought? (“Bill, get those blasted garden trimmings out of my kitchen… “)
All joking aside, it’s a wonderful treat to have that ray of golden yellow at the darkest time of year, and well worth the few minutes that it takes to go trim some from your garden.
clockwise from clasp: “Lock with Buds”, “Translucent Flower” (retired), “Green Wave”, “Soft Heart”, “Universal Unique”, “Christmas Rose”, “Universal Unique”, “Golden Quartz”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique”, “Christmas Tree”, “Sweet Christmas” (Limited Edition), “Blue-Green Feather”, (Retired), “Christmas Berry”, “Earth”, “Christmas Ornament” (Limited Edition), “Unique Amber”, “Winter Snow”, “Anemones” (World Tour Denmark).
This gorgeous bracelet was designed by our very own Cristi, using beads from Tartoofuls’ stock… and it probably had nothing to do with Forsythia… but it instantly brought the plant to mind and I couldn’t resist posting on it. (Forgive me Cristi!)
Enjoy this glorious sunshine…