Musing with Max

Musing with Max

March 26, 2012

Flowers in the House

According to the neighborhood gossips historians, the people who owned my house for many many years were great gardeners (and everything else too) and the next door neighbor was a master gardener. At some point they decided to plant matching flower beds in the area where the two yards meet, which is towards the back down one side of my driveway next to their backyard. They anchored the flower beds with three azaleas towards the back and forsythia at the front. When we moved in almost ten years ago we were once removed from the great gardeners by a couple who had no interest in it at all and had lived here for two years. The master gardener next door had been replaced nine years before. Most of the landscaping was pretty self sufficient but the flower bed required maintenance and all it got was ignored. So during our first month of June we decided to watch it grow and see what was there. What we got was two scraggly rose bushes, loads of phlox (not my favorite), some goosenecks, an occasional sunflower in late Summer and an amazing amount of weeds threatening to strangle everything. The flower bed had to go, so the next Spring we pulled it all out except for the azaleas and the forsythia since they are planted in the middle therefore shared. The flower bed has gone through two transformations and will be going on it's third this year but that's not what this story is about, this story is about forsythia.
The first time I saw it when I moved to New Jersey from Florida I was stunned. It signified Spring in such a vibrant and glorious way, it defined the color yellow, and it made me giddy with joy. I was thrilled to have one of my own. Unfortunately this forsythia was very very old and very very neglected. My neighbor who had taken over the master gardener's place and unmastered it would every couple of years come out to trim it---in the Fall. I always noticed too late to tell her that it bloomed on this year's growth and she was killing the flowers. Eventually it stopped blooming in the Spring and all we got were long unruly sticks which eventually grew the leaves in the Summer. It was a mess. We were overjoyed two years ago when having a conversation with our neighbor we all decided the forsythia was an eyesore and had to go. In the blink of an eye we Frank started to pull it out, all of it. You would think. There are a million shoots that just keep coming up which means we'll hire someone to take the whole thing out. In the meantime all the shoots that popped up this year bloomed a glorious bright yellow and for their last hurrah they're going to a party at Jane's.

We also picked up some friends along the way
...and since our host said "it's tulip time" I obliged by buying some cause mine haven't bloomed yet.

Can't wait to see what everyone else brings!


  1. Wow Amelia, I feel the same way about forsythia, still, it looks fabulous in your house...better in the house that the garden I think.

    And your extras? Couldn't be prettier or more springlike.

    xo jane

  2. I like that wild, branchy look. So much straight stuff in the market. Looks very professional in that container!

  3. Nothing says spring as loudly as forsythia!

    1. Alicia, Thank you. I myself have a preference for the dog.

      Jane, it's a love hate thing--love the yellow, hate the rest. You had quite the turnout! I guess Spring is in the air.

      Bow Street, I agree with the natural look, nature does a better job than I ever could. But thanks for the professional comment, you are now my new best friend!

      Webb, that is a perfect description-loud, I love it!

  4. Growing up in the rural south, forsythia was the first glimpse of spring. Seeing these plants still growing in long abandoned yards where houses once stood is a testament to their resilience. I love your tulips on the sideboard with Max enjoying the sunshine.