I have always been intrigued by forsythia. We have a patch of forsythia that we share with a neighbor. The bushes came from my grandmother’s yard, complete with the daffodil bulbs nestled beneath. My grandmother loved flowers and had a whole bank covered with forsythia and daffodils and candytuft. She had plenty to share and wanted us to take some for our new house.
I thought it was pretty cool that forsythia was named for our very county of Forsyth. That must be why it thrives here. Come to find out that it was actually named for William Forsyth, an 18th century Scottish botanist who was a royal head gardener. Not so close to Forsyth County after all, across the ocean, mostly native to eastern Asia. Nonetheless, it has adapted marvelously to its namesake county and certainly is royal in its crown jewels of yellow.
Forsythia doesn’t start out royal. Quite the opposite. In the winter, I wouldn’t give 2 cents for our forsythia. It looks like nothing, a few sticks in the ground. You wonder if they are even alive. But come the last of March or early April, those scrawny sticks bloom forth overnight in magnificent flaming yellow, followed closely by nodding heads of daffodils. A spring miracle for sure!
Forsythia has great staying power. Ours is already over a hundred years old and counting. It magically propagates itself by leaning over and poof! there’s a new plant right beside the old one. My neighbor went ballistic last fall when a large delivery truck with less than brilliant drivers ran over one side of the forsythia patch and mashed it flatter than a flitter. I told her not to worry. Sure enough, this week the forsythia is as glorious as ever, popped right back up just in time for Easter. Probably made a dozen more bushes while it was resting on the ground!
Perhaps, we can all learn a lesson from forsythia. Wouldn’t it be something if people could pop right back up from adversity, resurrect ourselves in a multitude of beautiful ways, and shine in magnificent royal glory, just in time for Easter!