cape may gardens



Cape May Garden Journal: Forsythia Season

By Jane Kashlak
Cape May Times Garden Columnist

April 18, 2005 - In early April, when our Cape May garden is nothing more than dry sticks and brown earth, and the early springs weeds are the greenest things around, the forsythia saves the day.

Yes, in the summer it blends into the landscape in a non descript green and, after those leaves fall, there is little "winter interest" about the shrub. If it's not pruned as it gets older, it loses that youthful bloom. It can overgrow a small spot very easily.

No wonder that it's fallen out of favor with traditional gardeners. Cape island Gardens says there's little demand these days for the shrub. Wildlife gardeners aren't crazy about it either.

It doesn't have butterfly or hummingbird friendly flowers. It has no scent and it has no berries or even insects to tempt a migrating songbird.

I know Cape May area wildlife gardeners who don't plant forsythia because they say, "What good is it??"

But in early April, when we yearn for some color after a long cold winter, the forsythia comes through.

That bright clear yellow does for the soul what bag balm does for rough hands.

For the rest of the year, I won't even cast a second glance at that corner of the yard.

But 11 and a half months of boredom is a price I'll pay gladly for the two weeks in April when the forsythia's in bloom.


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