Now is as good a time as any to talk about forsythia.
If you live in zone 7, it’s just popped out in all its tacky gold glory, and is either splaying all over the place in a spectacular tangle or — more likely — it was sheared into a giant egg shape in the fall by some doofus (possibly your spouse) so now it can’t fully express its brazen forsythiosity.
You have to be careful pruning these things. Forsythias are like Charo, or maybe Liberace. You wouldn’t put an oxford shirt on Liberace and take him to church. No, you let him get out there and be his fabulous self, just like you should let your forsythias get a little bit jiggy with it, too.
Some Forsythia Guidelines:
1. Accept that they’re a one season shrub and get to a place where you’re okay with this.
2. Put your forsythia in a place where it will be backlit by the sun. At all times. Because this is really the only way to catapult their flowers from “sort of pretty” to “insanely vibrant and glorious!! OMG!!!”
3. Don’t plant just one. Instead, plant a “drift” of between seventeen and one thousand of them. I didn’t truly appreciate forsythias until a visit one April to Dumbarton Oaks. Walking up a hill from the Lover’s Lane pool, I suddenly encountered the Forsythia Dell – an acre of (seemingly) untamed forsythias glowing in the spring sun. Wow. So thiiiiiiiis is what they’re supposed to look like, I thought.