Honeysuckles - scent for shade


Every garden contains some shady areas and honeysuckles like to have their feet in good soil in shade, before they scramble into the sun. They take up very little ground room and they can climb trees, or drape themselves over walls, or they can be shaped into pillar shrubs although you will need to provide wire supports. When it comes to scent, it's the rhubarb and custard flowered ones that pack the punch and not the brighter orange and red American species. The latter attract hummingbird pollinators by their bright colour, not scent.

They greyer-leaved 'Graham Thomas', with custard cream flowers, is a softer alternative than the rhubarb-pink forms. 'Belgica' is the first rhubarb and custard form to flower and 'Serotina', a stronger mix of cream and purple-red, is later. Honeysuckles do take time to establish, but once they feel their feet they deliver and they make an excellent backdrop to roses. They produce bird-friendly red berries and the only maintenance is a trim back after flowering - should you wish to. If you want to plant on a wall, choose a western elevation that will deliver rainfall.