Okay, now it's obvious, Someone is just playing a particularly cruel joke on me. I think it was just last year, or perhaps the year before when I said out loud that I should plant more forsythia, doubtless in a weak moment brightened as always by their cheery little blooms in the early spring. Someone, Some Evil One, overheard me. There must have been hidden microphones about, hard-wired back to the depths of Hell. Or maybe I was inadvertently included on a wiretap directed at the Trump campaign.
You see, over 6 weeks ago, I cut some forsythia stems to force indoors, an early gift of spring to Mrs. ProfessorRoush. They leafed out, but never bloomed, a disappointment I chalked up to my poor technique. Then a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that the forsythia were blooming all over town. Since it's not uncommon for my windswept hillside to be slightly behind the concrete-warmed microenvironment of Manhattan, Kansas, I was not alarmed, just titillated as I awaited the many forsythia of my own garden.
This week, however, it became evident that I have waited in vain. There will be no forsythia blooms here on the prairie this year, only a very few isolated bits of yellow that are invisible unless you are searching. Not on 'Spring Glory'. Not on 'Golden Times'. Not on my new superbloomer 'Minder', also marketed as "Showoff". Not even on 'Meadowlark', my favorite, said to be the most cold hardy of all the forsythia. They are all leafing out, bloom-less and boring.
Internet sources state that forsythia might not bloom for a number of reasons, including improper pruning, hard winter, or late spring frost. lack of sun, too much nitrogen, or just too darned old. In medicine, I've come to learn that when there are a number of explanations, it usually means that no one really knows a cause. In my case, I can eliminate improper pruning (fall instead of spring) because I don't prune my forsythia as a general rule. They aren't too old because some of these plants were planted last year or the year before and are no where near maturity. I can eliminate lack of sun because, well, because it's Kansas and they're all planted in full sun. And we just had the mildest winter overall that I can remember. I do have a general tendency to fertilize things too much, but a few of my forsythia never get fertilizer, so that is unlikely as well. I'm attributing this one to the late freeze that I noted in this blog just 17 days ago.
I'm despondent, discouraged, and dejected over my deforsythiaization. I'm not sure spring even counts without forsythia. I'll try to console myself with the bright new foliage of 'Golden Times', pictured above, but it is not enough yellow to start to cheer me up. And "next year" is just too far away. Curses.