Variegated Honeysuckle – Lonicera japonica Aureo-reticulata

Following on with the theme of scented plants near the house I was lucky to inherit a fabulous variegated honeysuckle when I moved here. This grows against the East facing wall of the house and fills the rooms with delicious scent for about three weeks, depending on the weather. If you hate variegated plants, I know lots of people do, best look away now.varihoney 2

I have read many descriptions of this climber stating that it is not a reliable flowerer and a few which say that it needs afternoon sun to produce scent in the evening. In my garden it has flowered for all but three of the forty-four years I have lived here. The plant gets no sun after about 1.30pm but produces strong scent all day.

I took several photographs of bees at work and saw that one was becoming noticeably slower moving between the flowers; eventually it nose-dived into one and apparently dozed for a minute, giving me the chance to take the picture below.

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Scented clematis “Betty Corning”

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I love to have scented plants close to the house all year round if possible.  At the moment the delicate scent of clematis Betty Corning drifts in through the side door.

This clematis is really easy and always produces masses of blooms over a long period. It grows against a south facing wall adjacent to the side door but the roots are shielded from the sun  by a hebe. (If you have read my earlier posts you will know that they are sometimes also protected by  a fat hen pheasant sitting under the hebe.) I prune the stems back to about 2 feet (60cm) long in late autumn and the plant sends up vigorous shoots in the early spring to fill a space about 8 by 6 feet.

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This is a hardy clematis and could be planted against a North facing wall; I am trying one in this position for next year so will let you know how it gets on but I doubt if the scent will be as good.


Iris Florentina with raindrops

The spring flowers in my rather exposed country garden are suffering from the cold, wet, windy weather so I am picking more than usual for cut-flower arrangements indoors.

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outside with raindrops

The rhizomes of Iris Florentina (now, apparently, properly called Iris Germanica florentina) are the source of “Orris Root”, once widely used in herbal medicine, but now chiefly used in the production of perfumes.

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newly picked, in the greenhouse

The flowers have their own delicate scent but the lily-of-the-valley are overpowering it out in the garden.

perfection 6 hours later, ready to be permanently captured in the dry, warm darkroom

All photographs copyright Lynne Revette Butler