Our honeysuckle

The honeysuckle in bloom is delightful. On the way to the donkey paddock it has grown into a robust shrub hanging above the path like a cloud, supported by a neighbouring hawthorn. I don’t want to prune it if I can help it so the path has been diverted slightly to accommodate it.

Here on the edge of the « Parc Regional Des Causses Du Quercy » it is extremely difficult for anything to grow fast and easy so it’s live and let’s live option as much as possible.

The honeysuckle isn’t the loose and quick climber we knew in London but a strong and dense shrub that the sheep and donkeys leave alone, lucky us, so it grows in both fields,  standing proud among the short grass or sheltered at the foot of other trees.

With the bright golden gorse and the wild roses in bloom they are the only natural colours here at this time of the year, except that now we have a weird and unsettling new sight: Starting about 3 years ago, we’ve seen the boxwood and the wild cherry trees being gradually and dangerously eaten away to the point of no life left in them and looking like skeletons. On close inspection of the wild cherry trees you can see silk thread wrapped around the branches and covering the wood completely with hundreds of tiny caterpillars traveling up and down vertical threads, like  undertakers in an embalming ceremony…

Our neighbours are spaying their old boxwood hedge every few days, desperate to save it but it’s a lost battle: Everywhere on it hungry caterpillars are still munching their way through it no matter how many times they spray.

These walkers we met the other day were alarmed. They said that  honeysuckle would be the next victim of these boxwood caterpillars. Seriously????? It would be devastating if honeysuckle was to disappear from our landscape.

(  Geoff’s shot : no more honey making for this bee )





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