What do you do when someone rips out a plant from your garden and just throws it away? And what if the plant was the only one you had, hardly grown from a rooting branch? Did I mention it was a baby forsythia shrub? Yes, it was and this happened to me, in my own garden. As you might imagine, I was devastated!
This terrible thing happened two years ago, when we had just moved in our new home. I had brought a few plants from my other garden and one was a small forsythia shrub. It was only a stalk with a few leaves, but it started to grow well that summer. I planted it at the gate of my new garden, thinking about how lovely it would be when it grew and had millions of golden bells, like a yellow explosion. All the new plants had a stake near them, to prevent their destruction, which could easily happen with the workers or the doggies I had in my yard.
I had seen on TV how to prune back the forsythia bushes and had practiced on mine. The program I watched advised pruning 1/3 of the exterior branches very short, about 1/3 from the ground. Then the show's host chose 2/3 of the inner branches and pruned them 2/3 from the ground. The other branches can be pruned to 1/3 of their height. This way you can get a bush shape, narrower at the ground level and opening wider to the top. I had also learned that forsythia should be pruned back only after their blooms are dry.
So I was ready to experiment on my future forsythia shrub. But things don't always happen as planned.
My husband wanted to build a cement pad for the trash can, in the very same place where the forsythia baby shrub was. That way we could keep the trash can closer to the gate. I asked him to tell me when he wanted to create the new pad so I could dig up the forsythia and move it elsewhere in my garden. One day, he asked a worker to start cleaning the place and do whatever was necessary to buil the cement pad. Of course, he forgot to tell me about this. My husband isn't a plant addict like I am and he doesn't know much about how each plant looks like, mainly because he is almost blind. When the worker saw the forsythia and the small stake near it, he asked my husband what he should do, since there seemed to be something planted there; he knew how much I cared for my plants. My husband asked him to describe the plant and the young worker said it was just a stick with two leaves. My dear husband told him to rip it out, which the worker did, but only after he told my husband that he should be the one to take the blame for this.
Something told me to get out to the garden at that moment, but it was too late: my forsythia was ripped out and thrown over the fence. I ran and searched for it, and even found the "stick", but without the roots, so it couldn't be saved.
I was so upset because I longed to see the forsythia blooming in my garden, even if it wasn't going to be such a big "explosion" just yet. Instead, I had to wait till summer to start a new forsythia branch, then wait for another year so it can bloom, if I was lucky. Still, I didn't despair much because I already knew where I could find a rooted forsythia branch. A neighbor from our village was more than happy to provide a cutting from his old forsythia shrub. When I got there, I saw that someone else had already torn off a branch and thrown it down, so I took that one instead of cutting a new one.
I got my branch, took it home and planted it in my garden, but in another place. This time, after living for a year and a half in this new house and having to deal with the strong winds coming from the field nearby, I thought I would need a living fence in the back yard, one made of big shrubs to provide a shield against the wind. Of course I'll have to plant more shrubs to make a strong living fence and I want each to be as spectacular as forsythia.
I'm very anxious to see my new forsythia blooming this spring . Now it's only a stalk, half burried in the snow, but it has buds, which means it rooted well last summer. And if it survived after so many snowstorms we had this winter, I think the roots are deep.
Hurray, hurray, my yellow explosion is on the way!
Happy Spring, everyone !
About Adina Dosan
I'm a Romanian plants and pets addicted, always happy to share my experience.