The Sweet Smell of Summer

Jul 8, 2011 | 2 comments

Honeysuckle in Bloom

     The honeysuckle twines up and around our pear tree for thirty feet or more.  In the evening you can smell its sweet fragrance all the way to our neighbors’ driveways, both north and south.  To me, it is the smell of summer here in Oysterville.  Along with the roses, of course.
     Honeysuckle and roses!  Sometimes it seems unfair that the sweetest smelling blossoms appear at the same time.  Right now our old fashioned York roses are at their height, as are the wild roses that grow along the lane.  In Bradley’s yard there are two or three varieties of old roses spilling their delicate beauty and scent over his fence and onto the verge.  A feast for eyes and nose!
     With most of the flowers in our garden I am torn between picking them for bouquets in the house and church or leaving them in place.  They add welcome spots of color to the vast green of lawn and rhododendrons and, besides, they look so cheerful growing here and there.
     But, when it comes to the honeysuckle and the roses, I pick without angst.  Having them inside as well as outside is a summer necessity.  The roses don’t last as long as I’d like, though.  This year I’m trying to remember to dry the petals so I can fill the ginger jar on our living room table.  Then I can lift the lid now and again and get a whiff of summer no matter what the season.
     The honeysuckle blossoms last longer when cut.  I always marvel that their fragerance grows stronger in the evening.  Why is that?  And, I wonder if it’s possible to dry their delicate frond-like blossoms in the same way I dry rose petals.  It is surely worth a try.


  1. Stephanie Frieze

    I’m going to have to come to Oysterville to sniff, Sydney! My grandmother grew honeysuckle and roses at the end of the porch of her house in Seaview, partially to block the wind from the South, but mostly for the smell. I haven’t had her luck growing it and even she would have been impressed 30 feet. My roses, on the other hand, are doing well and when I go out to dead-head I smell my grandmother.

  2. Jan

    Your post today reminds me of Bradbury’s “Dandelion Wine”… But the honeysuckle reminds me of the last time I got stung by bees, and riped the stuff right out of my yard! 🙂


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