Does anyone remember lemon “Creamola Foam” – soft drink crystals from umpteen years ago? Well, that to me, is the scent of winter-flowering honeysuckle. It takes me right back to my childhood!
I must say, the tiny honeysuckle flowers, with their delicate, fresh, lemony scent is the plant’s strong point. It is a vigorous grower, with a sprawling habit. Not a plant of great beauty for the rest of the year and it does need to be kept in check. But please don’t let that put you off! It does hang on to some of its leaves overwinter (it’s semi-evergreen). And the scent is hard to beat!
The one pictured is Lonicera fragrantissima, which I have in the back, as part of my scented shrub border – along with other winter gems! I have another variety, Lonicera purpusii, which I have as part of a flowering hedge in the front garden. It responds well to the clipping, becoming much denser. At the moment, as well as flowering, it has retained its leaves and is still perfectly green – a bonus for a hedge. An interesting new way of using them? Definitely worth a consideration!