Honeysuckle Revival

March 20, 2021. For Spring Equinox, I received the prompt “I remember” and immediately connected to the honeysuckle out back, remembering how to re-leaf after our rare (and disastrous) Arctic blast three weeks ago. The storm arrived after the honeysuckle had put out abundant blooms. We feared more than those blooms were wasted – that we might have to prune the honeysuckle down to the ground, that branches too could well be dead. The sight of honeysuckle covered in lifeless blah-brown leaves was very disheartening. But within a week, tiny green leaves began to push the brown ones off branches. Hoorah! Now only a few brown leaves remain, with green ones out to the tips of each branch. Plus new blossoms!

The image is a collage of a single 2nd-round blossom over backdrop of ice-over leaves and 1st-round blossoms. (I took no photos of the blah-brown mass.)

20 thoughts on “Honeysuckle Revival

    1. Thanks, Tom, for that wisdom – a connotation of “white” for future reference. Birds and blooms are a huge part of our bit of landscape (our yard is a certified wildlife habitat) and we are relieved that most of both survived the very unusual (for here) temperatures. We found 2 doves dead in the snow/ice, and we lost some succulents (replaceable).


      1. Jazz, yes, the plight of birds (and other wildlife) is always brought to the fore in extreme weather. In SE Queensland (Australia) we are now experiencing too much rain after a couple of years of drought. The birds in my garden are always affected by the extremes – many disappeared during the dry, and now the wet is creating very challenging conditions regarding food and shelter. But, when the sun dries out the land and the growth of plants and flushes of insects follow, the birds will recover their numbers. I enjoyed your post, thank you. Regards, Gaye


      2. Gaye, thank you for responding – unusual weather creates challenging conditions for wildlife and plants – we’ll never realize the true toll as many seem to simply vanish. Did they relocate, or did they succumb? Hope your excessive moisture lets up soon.


  1. Hey that’s gorgeous, that bloom! Yay for spring and removing the blah-brown…I did that with a clematis last week.

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    1. Thank you! We have learned that it’s best to whack our clematis to the ground even when it comes through winter mostly green … otherwise gets tooooo thick on the trellis next round. It was the first pruning after this recent freeze … and already shooting upward to reclaim its territory.


    1. Thanks, Leah – Spring is all the more appealing after a rough winter. Some years we don’t see much difference between seasons other than length of days – this year was radically different!

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  2. Great photo of the bloom and the ice! And nice words of homage to the honeysuckle. I too was worried that ours might not come back from the freeze, but it has some lovely green leaf growth now. And I often see sparrows go into the mass, wrens too.

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    1. Betty, great to know honeysuckles across the area are reclaiming their territories! We’re worried the bees lost a chunk of their rations to the freeze, watching for their return. Luckily the monarchs had come and gone before the freeze … almost surely their inner radar expedited the flight south.

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  3. Great collage, Jazz. I love the juxtaposition. I could feel the sorrow of the plant described as “honeysuckle despair”. And then speaking of the sparrows’ confusion and then you saying they sang, well, I could just imagine the birdsong may have had something to do with the renewal (sort of along the lines of doing a rain dance.) It’s a very uplifting story that I will “remember”.

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  4. LuAnne, your comments have me smiling. Yes, I’d put odds on Sparrow voices influencing plant releafing … everything influencing everything. Their initial vocals sounded like confusion, if human a lot of “what just happened!?” queries – but then it settled into their usual “song” (a sort of disjointed choir, like kids learning to sing together but each still trying to be heard above the rest). Sparrows are not spectacular in bird-watching terms, but they’re one of my favorites.


  5. The honeysuckle here are not just resilient. They’re persistent. We have two that are tree/large-shrub size, at either end of our yard. They make a nice privacy screen between our hose and the neighbors. The blossoms never fail, and I am constantly pulling new sprouts from the yard and garden. Bush honeysuckle is considered an invasive species in Missouri.

    Click to access BushHoneysuckles.pdf

    As is Japanese honeysuckle (a vine), which is actually banned in Indiana, according to Wikipedia.

    All of those are Asian species, but there’s actually a twining honeysuckle that is native to Missouri.

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    1. Many beautiful plants are considered “invasive” alas. We see no evidence of our honeysuckle springing up in adjacent yards, etc. so I don’t think it merits that designation. It DOES merit applause as bird abode, plus supporting local bees, and then the “privacy screen” benefit you mention. Ours blocks the view of our compost bins. I’m a big fan, and I was horrified to think the “deep freeze” might’ve done it in. It does take up a little bit more of the yard year to year, but not to the extent we’d want to be rid of it. [We have 2 other, very different, honeysuckles in our yard – smaller decorative attractions.]

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