This first appeared in my Close to Home column in my hometown weekly The Prospect-News 3/24/2021.
If I went to a local hardware/paint store and asked for a can of Forsythia Yellow, I bet I would get a raised-eyebrow grin as the clerk and I headed toward the paint section. (That’s a look I see often, mostly in hardware stores since they are pots of gold overflowing with tons of stuff I don’t know the names or uses of. What I think I need is usually there after a treasure hunt).
Yellow is my all-time favorite color. The variations are infinite, but not all are as pretty to me as the vibrant pure yellow of the forsythia bush that welcomes spring a bit ahead of the wild fruit trees and redbuds. That yellow is the standard I use to judge the appeal of the variants. To me, the pastel versions on one end of Mother Nature’s spectrum outweigh the mustard, gold tones on either end.
The price of fuel is rising, but I don’t have to drive miles and miles to enjoy forsythia-dotted landscapes. City yards as well as rural ones have eye-catching forsythia displays. Some are wild and natural, others are groomed and pruned, but they are all gorgeous. It took some planning and pruning, then transplanting of cuttings and guarding them from mower blades, but I have several blooming now in my yard. The unruliest one is begging me to get some more cuttings to begin a yellow showcase in the back.
I am going to fuss a bit about my lovely forsythia, though. No matter how many bushes I have to welcome spring to my little corner of the world, that perfect color doesn’t last through the summer. That’s a bummer. The waves of wisteria purple and redbud magenta that follow the greening of the forsythia pacify somewhat as the yellow vanishes.
PS. Davis Hardware has two paints close to the forsythia shade I love: Define and Bit of Sunshine. While sightseeing I spied the sensational forsythias that define the Yates property on 142E.