This forsythia was the only shrub that existed in my garden when we bought this house and the first spring it flowered magnificently. We took cuttings from it and they all rooted easily.
These daughter plants produced wonderful frills of yellow flowers on every inch of the branches, but the mother plant is now nearly bald of blossom every spring. We thought we were pruning it at the wrong time, so we pruned in the late spring: no flowers, so we pruned in the winter: no flowers, so we didn’t prune at all: still no flowers!
So then I wondered what had changed from when we first arrived and I saw the bird table we had place right next to it, which attracts a mob of house sparrows all year round, to eat our left over bread. Obviously the bread was not enough as I remembered I had seen a telltale yellow bud in a sparrow’s beak weeks before. In recompense for all the bread I have shared with them, behind my back they have been systematically stripping the flower buds every year, while we have been foolishly fretting about pruning régimes!
I love feeding the sparrows, so I guess I will just have to learn to love my raggedly parti coloured forsythia bush too!