Nothing says spring is here like pussy willows and forsythias. The Northern Gold Forsythia was introduced way back in 1979 in Canada. This shrub grows 6-8 ft high and has a spread of around 5-7 ft. It is very hardy, Zone 3-8. This shrub has outstanding flower color and bud hardiness. If you are looking for a smaller forsythia, we have Gold Tide Forsythia, which only gets about 2-3 ft. tall and 3-4 ft. wide. This shrub is hardy in zone 4-8. Forsythias look amazing if you plant them as a large, sprawling screen. If size is a concern, then you should prune the larger ones back to about 2 feet right after flowering. Plant these shrubs as they will put a smile on your face in spring when they bloom.
Photo Courtesy of Baileys Nursery – Northern Gold Forsythia
Soon the snow will be gone and it will be time to start cleaning up your perennial garden. First remove old foliage from perennial plants. Cut the stalks back to about 1/2 inch above the ground unless it is a crown plant, i.e. sedums, coral bells, etc. Only dead and damaged leaves need to be removed from the crown plants. Cut back your perennial grasses to about 3-4 inches above the ground if you have not already done so. Maybe leave a few blades of this dried grass behind for the birds to build nests. Next rake up all the old garden debris and matted leaves as this matter is a great hiding spot for slugs and insects plus it harbors disease. Dig out weeds. For healthier plants with more blooms consider putting down a thin layer of compost followed by a time-release fertilizer. Now sit back and enjoy your future blooms.