Outside the dead twig is king. We are weeks away from buds breaking here, but the kitchen window is a good place to tempt the flowers to appear at eye level right now.
Forsythia is the most forgiving of bushes. All year it is sturdy and green, but in spring time, the bare wood is covered in simple lemon green star flowers that erupt for every knarly inch.
I never knew you could pick forsythia twigs months before they flower in the garden and enjoy them inside. Thanks to the generosity of bloggers I read about how you could plunge them into water for 24 hours and leave them some where cool before bringing them into the house and waiting for them to flower. I was delighted when I tried this and watched an unprepocessing bunch of twigs burst into flower on the kitchen window sill in darkest winter.
Since then I have become lazier and realised that that the cooling transitional phase isn’t needed, I just select the twigs from my lovely leggy shrub, shove them into a tall vase and wait for the stars to come out!