Honeysuckle decorates our country roadsides with charming beauty right now. Climbing upward and over small trees or spreading along untended fence rows, the honeysuckle’s white and yellow blossoms are thick and lovely on this beginning of June.
I have a strong emotional attachment to honeysuckle going back to my childhood. At the end of our front porch across from the school in
there was a wall of honeysuckle giving off its wonderful aroma when we sat down
to rest or swing on the glider there. Someone
taught me how to pick a bloom and suck the sweetness out. I have used
honeysuckle in flower arrangements for weddings or everyday bouquets. And I have fond long-ago memories when we
first moved to this country road of rolling down the car windows to smell the
honeysuckle along our road when I came home late at night from play practices. Later
when we first built this house, Gerald even planted some on the end of our deck
outside our bedroom door.
It took over and became troublesome, and we had to give it up, although there is plenty over on our tiny island in the lake. Nevertheless, when I first heard the term “invasive species” about my beloved honeysuckle, I felt personally attacked. It took a hike along with the school children following a worker at
to convince me that maybe that word was more accurate than I wished. The worker explained how necessary to was for
them to make forays into the forest to cut out the honeysuckle lest it
completely crowd out other plant life. Shawnee National Forest
So in spite of myself, I think of that when I enjoy the abundant roadside honeysuckle in all its glory right now. The birds will spread its berry seeds in places where it will be unwelcome. In the meantime, the bees and hummingbirds and I will enjoy it just as the early pioneers did when it twined around their cabin doors.