Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Among the Joys of Spring

The yellow of forsythia against a blue sky is one of the many joys of spring. Forsythia is such an obliging plant -- easily rooted from cuttings or simply by laying a low-growing branch on the ground with a rock on it till it takes root. And the unpromising spindly branches are willing to burst into bloom ahead of time if you cut them, bring them into your warm house, and put them in water Leave them in the water and those branches will leaf out and tiny white rootlets will begin to sprout. Let your forsythia bush go unpruned and it will send out shoots of six feet or more, turning into a golden fountain. Prune it hard, as some folks more energetic than I do, and the globe or hedge that you've shaped the eager shrub into will be tightly covered with cheerful butter-yellow blossoms. For sheer exuberance, forsythia's hard to beat.

Periwinkle, on the other hand, is shy and retiring. You have to look closely to see the lavender-blue blooms nestled amid the glossy leaves of this hardy shade-loving ground cover. It spreads fairly rapidly and takes well to being transplanted -- making it a good plant to share with friends and neighbors. I was delighted to learn that periwinkle was once known as 'Joy of the Ground' -- apart from its pretty flowers and its willingness to cover slopes, the name alone would be reason enough for me to want to grow this modest charmer.

The pansies that bloom in the bed at our entry way were bought in a flat from a nursery and planted last fall. They endured the freezes and snows of the winter and now they're coming into their own, lifting their cheerful faces to the sun. Of course, that same sun will eventually be the end of the pansies -- they'll grow straggly and give up the ghost in summer's heat. But for now, they're another of the joys of Spring.
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smc0235 said...

mmmmmmmmmmmmmm March. It it so wonderful here.

I grew up in New Jersey and March was a long, nasty month. Every once in awhile it would get a bit warm. The scarves would come off, you would see people faces again and we would bring in the forsythia to loom. We would tell ourselves that Spring was here. Then, most cruely, we would have an ice storm and the scarves would go back on, and we would hunker down, and have dark thoughts about endless Winters.

Vicki Lane said...

Wonderful indeed! And today (the 27th) was just about perfect for mildness of temperature. But we're not safe from freezes yet -- making every day that we dodge one all the more blessed.