We know spring has arrived in northern climes when we see the cheery yellow blooms of the ubiquitous forsythias in April. Named after William Forsyth, one of the founders of the Royal Horticultural Society in the 18th century, forsythias are medium to large shrubs that produce four- petaled clusters of bell-shaped flowers in the axils of the stiff, rough branches. These Asian shrubs are very adaptable to poor soils and varying moisture, but the flower buds may be tender on older cultivars. Pruning is best done immediately after flowering, giving new growth time to form flower buds. Never shear forsythias into “green meatballs”, as their natural shapes are graceful enough.
Golden Times Girald forsythia is a selection grown as much for the foliage as for the yellow bell-like flowers. The leaves are quite different from the common border forsythias, up to 4” long, more narrow and finely toothed. After the early spring flowers have bloomed, the leaves emerge butter yellow around the edges with a streak of green in the middle. The yellow fades to white variegation. The shrub grows to about four feet high and is slightly less hardy than border forsythias.
Screen/Hedge, Bedding or Border, Specimen Plant