Welcome back, americana…

(Honeysuckle) Lonicera x americana

How pretty you look now – just how did I forget about you?

Flowering in morning sunshine – you’ll grow up to overlook the pond 🙂

Admired at Gardening Scotland a good few years ago, this impulse buy didn’t really have a proper place back in the garden. How familiar does that sound? Gail force winds knocked down its first home (a small, flimsy arch) and it was given temporary accommodation next to a free pole on a pathway garden structure.

The sulking climber was pruned after moving in an effort to encourage new growth but then it was promptly forgotten about. Again, how familiar does that sound in a garden full of other plants seeking the gardener’s attention?

Winds and persistent rain haven’t made for easy garden photo captures this summer but last Friday (with GBBD in mind) I got out with my camera in the early morning sunshine and what a surprise I was to find! Americana was flowering, looking healthy and attracting pollinators! Hoverflies were feeding and I suspect bees have been here too.

Welcome back, americana – you are clearly telling me you have found your own permanent home in my garden and I am very happy to have you stay 🙂 Although I love it when plants thrive on not being fussed over, I will try to keep a gardener’s promise to look after and admire you – for a few years anyway 😉

This post was published by Shirley for shirls gardenwatch in August 2015.

12 thoughts on “Welcome back, americana…

  1. I have a very similar looking honeysuckle. It is called a 'Dutch' honeysuckle. It is typical of honeysuckles in that it is tough as nails and blooms up a storm for the pollinators. I bet you will love this one.

  2. You are so right, impulse buys and forgetting about plants…although many would say this describes their clothes or shoe shopping for me it is plants, plants, plants. With our new house I am constantly surprised by what pops up.

  3. It's great when a plant finally gets going isn't it. I find honeysuckle take a couple of years to settle in my garden. That's a lovely one Shirley and a nice reminder of a trip to Gardening Scotland.

  4. I like the color of its flowers! I have Dropmore Scarlet, and I tied its stems to a fir tree. It doesn't look that it likes to climb. I'd say it spreads around the tree more than it climbs the tree. But, it blooms, and I am happy.

  5. If you want a heady scented honeysuckle try Lonicera japonica Halliana – yellow flowers and retains leaves in winter if climate not too harsh. It can get big.

  6. Honeysuckles have everything don't they beautiful flowers and beautiful perfume. The only problem is often they also attract lots of aphids. Hope yours doesn't.

  7. All the Honeysuckle are good wild life plants, I have one unknown one whose leaves die back each summer, and looks a mess, then recovers during autumn.

  8. Hello again everyone, thanks for all your comments 🙂

    Lisa, ah… doing a search on your Dutch honeysuckle I see there are quite a few varieties, early and late flowerers too. I’m also reading that yours is scented and good for wildlife too 🙂 I’ve just been out (it is morning now) to see if Americana has a scent and I can’t get it although the flowers are now beginning to go over. Searching online, it is suggested that it smells strongly of cloves and is to have a strong fragrance. I’ll go out this evening to smell it again – it has competition though from a scented jasmine opposite it which is just opening flowers – they are divine!

    Suzie, ha-ha… I hear you completely! I do remember to keep my plant labels (in no particular order in a box in my potting shed) and it’s when I sort through them (as I am doing just now) I get a trip down memory lane. Moving plants too much spoils my surprises at times. You are doing well with a newly inherited garden by leaving things to pop up and surprise you! Well done, you are following garden advice there 🙂

    Angie, it is, I always have to admire a plant’s ability to keep trying to grow when we gardeners (like me) don’t leave them to get their roots down. Even if a plant is settled I will move it. Being truthful, I didn’t have a honeysuckle on my plant wish list – it was the flower colour on the display that caught my eye. I walked away too – only to return near the end of my visit. Unfortunately, I’m very often disappointed with my Gardening Scotland visits. I don’t feel the heart in this show anymore and seldom come home inspired to do something new in my garden. I love to see peeps walking away with arms of plant purchases though 🙂

    Tatyana, wow… I love the colours of Dropmore Scarlet! I bet that is stunning flowering en masse 🙂 Ah… looking at images I see some gardeners growing it in a hedge-like fashion so I’m guessing it has a more shrub habit and that’s why it isn’t growing up so much. Enjoy those blooms 🙂

    Duncan, hello and welcome, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments. Scent is something I should consider more in plant selections. Lonicera japonica Halliana has a very pretty delicate looking flower and like the Jasmine planted opposite/behind Americana in my garden a heady scent can be pretty special in the garden. Halliana probably wouldn’t keep its leaves up my way and having a small garden space is short but thanks for giving the thumbs up on this plant as other readers might consider it 🙂

    Janneke, it is pretty although I’m thinking at the time I was probably expecting a deeper red/pink as I was bringing that colour in to my garden at that time. I still like it though especially as it is flowering despite me… ha-ha. As I mention to Lisa above, I’m not sure on scent and will need to check that out soon before the flowers fade away 🙂

  9. Hello again Sue & Duncan 🙂 As you both say, scent as well as the pretty flowers makes honeysuckle a valuable garden plant.

    Duncan, your comment re the Blue tits and ladybirds eating any aphids my honeysuckle may attract was the reply I was going to give you, Sue.

    Many moons ago, after having a failing Blue nest with a single Mum struggling to find food I planted two climbing roses (I wasn’t a fan of roses either so this was a big step). One rose climbed the flimsy arch that the honeysuckle was on and the other a trellis not far from the nest box. Believe it or not, I did check my rose buds wanting to see aphids. I got a few but sadly the Blue tits only found them after the nest had failed. It was mildew I was hoping my honeysuckle didn’t get.

  10. Hello again Brian 🙂 I’m thinking I wasn’t considering plants for wildlife when I chose this plant and it was purely colour that influenced me then. I can see that the cover it provides makes homes for many an insect.

    Shame you have to go through a mess with your plant during the summer but good it recovers in Autumn to give insects a home over chilly winter days and nights 🙂

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