Plant of the Week: SHOW OFF® SUGAR BABY® Forsythia

Gritty? Oh, yes. Forsythia are gritty. They’ll take whatever kind of soil you throw them into (including gritty ones or clay).

Deer aren’t usually a problem. Neither is black walnut.

Full sun or part shade – either will work, although flowering might be better in full sun.

The only thing that can get a little tricky is winter. Although forsythia are generally hardy to USDA 5, cold winters might compromise the bloom. But the plant itself keeps going because it’s an optimistic genus.

I think the real optimism, though, is in those yellow flowers.

Show Off® Sugar Baby (1.5-2.5′) is perfect for tight spaces, while Show Off® Starlet is a little bigger at 2-3′.

The original Show Off® forsythia is 5-6′ tall, making it the best choice for the folks who can’t wait for their dose of feel-good flowers and want to cut branches to force inside. I really can’t blame someone for being impatient.

All will have outstanding flower displays from base to tip and have nice full branching. I love that forsythia are gritty, but they don’t have to be sloppy about it.
Gritty optimism

If you’re in this industry, you’ve got to have it. Every year there are problems that are beyond our control, and we keep on going. We plant for next year because it’s coming anyway.

This year, though, the challenge is beyond anything most of us have ever faced. It’s not bad weather or a pest outbreak. It’s a threat that’s both immediate and potential. Other than washing your hands and generally being a responsible citizen there isn’t a lot most of us can do.

Yet we’re planting for next year because it’s coming anyway. We may be helpless in the face of a pandemic, but we’re not hopeless. What you planted last year is giving hope to someone this year, and this year’s efforts will bring us through next year.

I spoke to my sister this weekend. After a week inside a NYC apartment, teaching special education students via phone and teleconference, her treat for the weekend was going to be a walk to the park. Because she “needs to see a tree.”

Keep your spirits up. Go see a tree. Or take a second to watch this example of what is more foolish than gritty but optimism just the same.

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