Plant­ing Part­ners

Landscape (UK) - - Our Landscape -

Forsythia have a sim­ple beauty and the best part­ners en­hance this. Ob­vi­ous choices are golden daf­fodils planted around them, adding red and or­ange tulips for con­trast. Early tulips should be cho­sen if they are in­tended to flower at the same time. A pool of blue scil­las and chion­o­doxas works well too. Tra­di­tion­ally, they are grown with bright pink Ribes san­guineum, which is equally tough and re­li­able, cre­at­ing a vi­brant pair­ing. How­ever, its brighter hue could be re­placed with the cu­ri­ous salmon pink of Ribes x gor­do­nianum or the or­ange blooms of ever­green Ber­beris dar­winii. The ab­sence of sum­mer colour in forsythias could be over­come by plant­ing a sum­mer climber at the base. Late-flow­er­ing clema­tis are the best choice here be­cause they can be cut away, al­most to ground level in win­ter, ex­pos­ing the forsythia stems to bloom in all their glory. The clema­tis will then cover the forsythia af­ter it has been pruned, and flower from Au­gust to Oc­to­ber. The forsythia should be well es­tab­lished be­fore plant­ing any climber be­low, how­ever, or it may be­come swamped.

Sim­i­lar in har­di­ness and habit, flow­er­ing cur­rant, Ribes san­guineum, makes a daz­zling part­ner.

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