Are you looking for a climber? We are loving Lonicera periclymenum - also known as Honeysuckle.
Lonicera is a beautiful climber that will climb walls, pergolas, fences and will even grow through large trees. This beautifully fragrant plant is certainly best planted somewhere where you can admire the flowers and breathe in the heavenly scent. The thing we love about this plant is that they are prolific flowerers and will repeat flower throughout the year. The colours that are available are also stunning with beautiful clusters of flowers on every stem.
The perfect choice for floral work. You can see below how Erin Benzakein from Floret Flower Farm's has used this to beautiful effect in an arrangement from her book A Year In Flowers which you can find here.
Lonicera will perform to their best in a free draining soil, preferably in full sun although they do tolerate partial shade. In summer they certainly do appreciate a nice deep watering but we find mulch also helps to keep the moisture levels in, but other than that they are pretty low maintenance.
We have a few different varieties available, some of which you can read about below or see more of our collection here.
Lonicera periclymenum | Graham Thomas
Graham Thomas is an award winning variety by the RHS due as it is considered to have excellent garden qualities . The flowers on this variety are also striking as they start out cream and as the flowers age they turn a clear yellow. The height of Graham Thomas is to around 3 metres, but it is a vigorous grower.
Lonicera periclymenum | Gold Flame
So named because it has clusters of bright pink flowers with golden coloured throats. It has no fragrance and the the flowering period is not quite as long as some of the other varieties, but what it lacks in fragrance, it makes up for this with its stunning flowers from summer right through into late Autumn. This variety is deciduous. The perfect choice to grow over something that during the winter you would like to let more light in but when in leaf and flower it will provide cool shade through summer. Height up to 5metres but can be trimmed.
Lonicera periclymenum | Winchester
Winchester has beautiful port wine coloured flower buds that open to deliciously scented whitish flowers which provide a strikingly contrasting inflorescence.
If you follow Floret Flower Farm you will see that they use a lot of Honeysuckle as it makes a wonderful addition to bouquets and lasts well in a vase.
Flowers are produced profusely from summer and right into autumn and can flower into early winter in milder climates. New leaves emerge rich purple, maturing to dark green. A full sun to part shade lover, Winchester is best grown in fertile medium moisture but well drained soil. This hybrid is considered to be one of the finest selections.
The perfect choice for covering walls, fences, trellises, sheds and pergolas! Prune the plant as needed to keep it tidy and confined within its allocated area.
Semi-evergreen in warmer climates and deciduous in colder areas.
Height 3-5 metres x 1.0-1.8m Wide
Training your Honeysuckle
To train a honeysuckle vine to grow up a pergola, wall or trellis, gently tie the plant to the support with a stretchy material that will allow for growth as you don't want the ties to cut into the plant as it grows. Also take care that the stems don’t rub on the supports on which you are growing your plant. This can be easily done by looping your ties into a figure 8, making sure the crossed section goes between the stem and the support to keep the stems from rubbing.
Where we mention full sun, this means 6 or more hours of sunlight each day.
Pruning your Honeysuckle
You won’t need to spend too much time pruning your plant, other than to keep the shape tidy and contained. Lonicera can be lightly pruned for shaping at virtually any time of the year. If however you are needing to do a major pruning job on an older vine or one that has got a bit out of control, wait until at least autumn or winter if you have a variety that goes dormant.
Use a pair of sharp secateurs to remove any dead, diseased or damaged stems. Cut stems to the point where they join another stem or just past a leaf node.
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You can read more articles from our Garden Journal here.