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Report From An Opinionated Gardener – June 15

June is the month when my honeysuckle vines shine. I’m especially partial to varieties of Lonicera periclymenum, commonly known as woodbine. This vine is native to Great Britain and unlike other honeysuckles, doesn’t seem prone to mildew.

I love how fragrant these are…on a warm summer night, these are they type of plant that send their perfume into the house and throughout the yard. I appreciate how they soften vertical surfaces and bloom well in part-sun.

If I deadhead the ‘Belgica’, it repeat flowers. I’ve never tried this with ‘Scentsation’ but this might be the year that I get out the shearing tool and see what happens. Even if I don’t cut off the faded flowers the display at this time of year is worth admission to my garden. I love this plant.

My husband says I play favorites…on the one hand I badmouth the Siberian iris for blooming for ten minutes, and on the other hand I blog about how fantastic my honeysuckles are even if they don’t bloom all summer. I explain that it’s not just the short flowering that has me disliking the iris. They also need frequent dividing, and weeds are happy to move in and around the base making this perennial not only short-flowering but high-maintenance.

The only care the woodbine needs is an occasional renewal pruning if the growth gets too congested. In the fifteen years we were on our last property I only had to do this once. And even if I had to cut it down every year, I’d still love this plant.

Yes, I play favorites, although I’d prefer to say that some plants just speak to my heart.

The pale yellow flowers of Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’ echo the yellow green of my metasequoia. Both are going into their fourth summer on Poison Ivy Acres.

I've written about Lonicera periclymenum ‘Belgica’ many times, and every June it's as if I'm discovering this plant again. It's the perfect companion for the Collette climbing rose.

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