Wednesday, February 18, 2009
I literally dreamed about lilacs last night. I was driving down a road and kept seeing purple and white clusters hanging from some of the roadside trees. Of course this was a dream so they were a bit Suessical in form. I pulled over into a muddy and gray area of this road to further inspect the purple puffs. As I walked closer the intoxicating fragrance surrounded me, I didn't need to go any further. I turned around, got back in my truck and drove off. Spring IS coming. So is our annual Spring Gathering...mark your calendar now, Tuesday evening, March 3rd 5PM-9PM, Wednesday March 4th through Saturday March 7th, 10AM - 5PM...more to come on this.
The first flowers we will see around Ohio will be those of the Forsythia, a hearty deciduous shrub. Flower buds form in the fall and then when the spring temperatures reach about 55 brilliant yellow (mimosa?) flowers emerge. Forsythis is not picky about it's soil but climate is crucial, below freezing temperatures are a must, not usually a problem in Ohio. The branches are perfect for forcing inside since the buds are already formed. Try some in a tall clear vase to add some early Spring to your home.
forced forsythia from House Beautiful March 2008
Forsythia was first introduced to Western gardens from China and Japan in the 19th century. Forsythia fruit is often used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat colds and viral infections that are accompanied with a fever. It's most often combined with honeysuckle flowers in honeysuckle forsythia fruit, which is possibly the most widely used traditional cold remedy in mainland China. Typical preparations are steamed and dried to be used in teas, infusions, capsules and extracts. It is also native to Korea. William Forsyth, an English horticulturist, brought the first shrub from Japan to England. It wasn't until 1833 that the group became popular as a garden shrub. For more history visit this site.
For those of you wondering, I am still working on the cupboard and wil post some photos as soon as it's done. Thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. I so enjoy reading all the suggestions and the "please don't paint it!!" comments. Feel free to keep the ideas coming...