Forsythia are one of the earliest sources of color in the garden. In North America forsythia will begin blooming in late early spring, their bright yellow flowers adding a cheerful touch to the garden. The blossoms run along the long stems, brightening the landscape even during spring rain, when the wand-like boughs sway and bend gently. Forsythia stems make lovely cut arrangements as well. Bring the stems inside when the flowers are still in bud, and the bright flowers will quickly open to brighten your home.
Hydrangeas begin blooming in early spring and will continue flowering into autumn. The deep green foliage makes the perfect background for the spectacular flowerheads, huge showy clusters of blossoms that come either as mopcaps, like huge pompoms, or lacecaps, with distinct large flowers encircling a central cluster of tiny blooms. Hydrangeas come in a range of colors from robin’s egg blue through pale pinks and reds to deep purples and mauves. Some varieties of hydrangeas, such as the oakleaf, bear blossoms of ivory and huge, beautifully formed leaves, adding great depth to the garden.
The burning bush takes its colorful name from its gorgeous autumn foliage. During the spring and summer it is covered with small, light green leaves, with small, pale green blossoms. But when fall approaches it becomes a vibrant mass of red and orange foliage. By this time too the burning bush is covered with small orange and red fruit, adding to the textures and hues. When clustered together, burning bushes create a truly unforgettable display.