Every year as winter fades and spring begins, I look forward with great anticipation to the flowering of the Forsythia shrubs and the Redbud trees. The riot of intense yellow and magenta colored blossoms lift my spirit and renews hope for another growing season full of garden delights.
Northern Gold Forsythia and Meadowlark Forsythia are the two selections we can count on to reliably provide the burst of intense yellow blossoms that unquestionably say “Spring has Sprung!” Most of the other forsythia varieties that have received a lot of marketing in recent years are just not as tough and reliable as Northern Gold and Meadowlark. Pick a location with good drainage and at least a half day of sun to get your Forsythia shrub to perform well. These will get to be about 6′-8′ tall and wide so allow a spot that they can grow into.
While Redbud trees are native to states south of Minnesota, the University of Minnesota did a great job selecting a strain of Redbud tough enough to perform well in the southern half of the state. I absolutely love the intense violet/magenta of the Minnesota Strain Redbud flowers that open fully before any leaves emerge – usually in late April. Every single vividly colorful blossom is visible because no leaves are present to obscure blossoms. Here’s the best part: The blossoms of the Redbud last 15 to 30 days rather than the 5 to 10 days as is the case with most other spring flowering trees.
Maybe this is the year to treat yourself to a wonderful explosion of spring color by planting Forsysthia shrubs or a Redbud tree. They are sure to give you years of enjoyment.