One of my best childhood memories is playing in the field at my Italian Grandmother’s house–“field” being a huge misnomer for this strip of grass 3 miles from Boston. Here’s how it looks now ( thank you, Google Street View!) but back in the ’60s
and ’70s wild honeysuckle obscured the bannister and chainlink fence that stood where the curb is now. In that enclosed and narrow “field” my cousins and I were wide on imagination. Some pretty crazy wild-west scenarios happened there, compete with toy guns, and Indian war whoops. (Political correctness hadn’t happened yet.😉 )
Nonny’s honeysuckles loomed large in my mind for years, but by the time I owned a home and garden, Lonicera japonica was banned in Massachusetts and rarely given as a pass-along due to its invasive nature.
In 2013 I found a wild patch near Maggie’s apartment and yes, I swiped it. At first it didn’t grow well, but I think this cooler winter kicked it in gear. I’m not sure how invasive it is here, but the joy of scent memory is well worth the effort to keep it in check:
In the past few days, other flowers opened too, and dang if they’re not just as pretty!
In previous years I haven’t seen Belamcanda chinensis aka Iris domestica ’til the last week of June, but this season the stalks emerged on Memorial Day with flower stems a few days behind. Each bud opens for one day, rolling into a tiny “dishrag” by sundown.
Another favorite, the bromeliad Billbergia windii has spiked a full month ahead of schedule. Such a beautiful inflorescence!
A few more Ruby Spider Daylilies opened, and though you’ve seen them before, they’re always worth a second look:
This morning I noticed some lilies (planted 18mos ago) finally going into bud. Photos soon to follow!
Until next time…..
- Sweet Honeysuckles (mentalfloss.com)
- Belamcanda chinensis ‘Hello Yellow’ (perennialgardener.wordpress.com)
- Honeysuckle! (sherriepalmer.wordpress.com)
- Sometimes you get HONEYSUCKLE, sometimes you get SCOTCH BROOM (travelingrainvilles.typepad.com)