Friday, March 19, 2010

The Perfect Yellow Bell

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I saw this Forsythia the other day when I was driving through LaFayette. I was simply stunned by its symmetry. My own forsythia looks nothing like this. Every one I have ever seen was a scramble of stems sticking out every which way. Beautiful, yes. Cheerful,yes. Symmetrical, no. How did it come to look this way? Maybe it was all pruned off and all the stems came out at once. Maybe some magic formula was followed like pruning out one third of the old growth every year. Maybe I will just stop one day and ask.
Pruning one third of the stems to the ground each year is called renewal pruning, and should be done as soon as the bush has finished blooming. Flowers come on the old growth and at this time it is easy to tell the new growth and leave them as they will not have flowers.But this still produces a riot of unruly stems.
But whatever you do, do not prune a Forsythia into a box or ball shape. It destroys the natural grace of the shrub. And it is the result of a stymied mind.

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