I recently took y'all on a little tour around the early Spring garden and among our favorites was this Forsythia hedge. It surrounds the North side of the cemetery. It's probably old-ish. Maybe 20 years or so. It's beautiful but in rough shape. It has been allowed to grow willy-nilly for a long, long time. Sadly, Japanese honeysuckle, which happens to be incredibly invasive, has been allowed to grow unencumbered for years upon years. It's awful. It needs a good rejuvenation pruning. The trouble with that though, is that it would expose the cemetery to the house. So we have some thinking to do.
It is still mostly beautiful, but not brilliant. It could be brilliant. Nonetheless, this beautiful hedge produces enough flowering branches to outfit the house with forsythia arrangements from late March into April.
Start by making sure you cut your branches longer than you think you need with bypass pruners. Its still cold outside and you don't want to have to go all the way back to the cemetery when you find out you cut your branches too short. Not saying that happened to anyone or anything.
Once you get back to your work space, take a look at your vase and decide how long your branches will be. I like a wild natural look, so I let mine stay fairly long, spilling out the top in all directions.
You only want flowers and branches sticking out of the top of the vase, and only branches in the water. Strip the lateral branches from anything that might touch water inside your vase. Recut the bottom of the branch at a 45° angle.
Cut branches in general drink ALOT of water. Since they aren't soaking up water through the bark, you need to provide as much surface area as possible for water to be absorbed. In addition to cutting the 45° angle, take your bypass pruners and cut upwards from the bottom of the branch. This allows for more and easier water uptake, and ultimatley a longer lasting arrangement.
Once you have properly prepared the branches, simply pop them into your vase. As a side note, I prefer forsythia in a white vase. It tones down the yellow, which can contrast too much with a lot of colors. My vase is antique English ironstone so I don't have links, but I have provided links below to some pretty vases. I also provided a link to a faux Forsythia branch in case you love the look but don't have a bush available to take cuttings. I will probably buy faux-sythia once I do the rejuvenation pruning, since I wont have flowers for one to two years.
how to arrange Spring forsythia branches
1. Cut your branches longer than you think you need with a bypass pruner
2. Strip lateral branches that might touch water
3. Cut the bottom of the branch at a 45° angle
4. Cut upwards about an inch or so at the bottom of the branch
5. Arrange the branches to flow freely from the top of the vase at a height of 1.5 times the size of the vessel.
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