Forsythia and Spicebush Update
There are two shrubs in the garden that provide us with cheerful yellow flowers in early spring. First, there’s a single old Forsythia of unknown variety. Second, there are several Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) that I planted at least five years ago.
Of the two, Forsythia is normally the extrovert, making a big noise in the garden with its boisterous yellow flowers (and probably annoying the other shrubs who are just starting to rouse themselves). Spicebush is the introvert, murmuring politely with its fuzzy little blooms.
Last year I wrote a post (which you can read here) about how the Forsythia was blooming very sparsely. I cut it back hard after it flowered, though I didn’t cut it to the ground as some readers recommended. This year I think it is doing a bit better, but it still seems rather lethargic.
I notice that most of the young stems it sent up last year have very few blooms. I wonder if Forstythia stems tend to bloom more in their second year. I hope so.
Regarding the Spicebush, I’m sorry to say I lost one over the winter. I have no idea what killed it, but it did seem to be in decline last summer. On the other hand, the remainder seem quite perky in their quiet way.
If more Spicebush die, I don’t think I would replace them with the same species. One of the main reasons I chose this plant was to attract Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies, but in all these years I haven’t seen a single caterpillar. Spicebush is a pleasant shrub, though. In addition to the flowers, it’s got red berries (though mine fruit sparsely and the fruit is eaten almost immediately by birds) and nice creamy yellow foliage color in the fall.
Are you having a good year for Forsythia and/or Spicebush?