An impressive little shrub

The Lonicera Fragrantissima is impressive. It is one of the first shrubs to bring out its flowers at the end of January, beginning of February and its powerful smell attracts the local bumblebees which then gorge on the flowers. It belongs to the honeysuckle family that we love and have all around here.

This Lonicera is a clever bush: it is native of the forest and it flowers very early to take advantage of the light as much as possible while the trees around are still bald of leaves, waiting a bit longer for the spring.

Its deliciously smelling white blossom appears long before its leaves, and therefore it is very accessible to the pollinators such as the bumblebee.

We planted one in front of the kitchen and it doubled its size within 3 years. It shouldn’t get any larger than a couple of meters all round which is a very good size for us.

I so enjoy seeing it when I am doing the washing up.

Making cuttings couldn’t be any easier: after the flowers have gone and while it’s bringing its new bright green shoots, I take a few bits from its branches and plant them in some small pots with a good compost. I then place them behind the garden shed, North facing, where they won’t dry out while pushing out their roots. That’s it!

In the autumn I plant them in situ and let them get on with the job of living. When mature they will feed the birds with their little red berries.

I read that this bush is used to create hedges, but personally, I prefer it planted alone with plenty of space all around such that it can grow free to choose its size and shape with that very airy and light and ephemeral look about it that delights me…

The crocuses and the daffodils love it under there….

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