I’ve grown a few monster vines since then. Lonicera henryi was one that threatened to tear down a mailbox arbor as it stacked its 30-foot length on top of itself. The evergreen vine looked like a shrub on top of the arbor above the mailboxes. When the vine covered itself in its tiny flowers the bees were all over it, which terrorized the mail-person when she came to deliver the mail. (She is allergic to bee stings.) She is relieved now that the vine is gone.
Another variegated honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica 'Aureo Reticulata') almost swallowed a large, established rhododendron whole. The evergreen shrub is finally recovering after the twining beast was removed a few years ago. This is a typical size-denial, wrong-plant-wrong-place syndrome every gardener faces and eventually recovers. Apparently, I haven’t developed an immunity yet.
Two new honeysuckles in the trade are making me rethink my abstinence from growing these vines. The introductions, with typical fragrant flowers are smaller than the monsters I removed and you can find them in our local nurseries this year.
The tropical looking flowers from peaches and cream honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum ‘Inov86’) are larger pink and white bi-color flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Evergreen foliage, mildew resistant, and compact to eight-foot tall, makes it a fine specimen for a full sun garden in the Northwest!
The two loniceras will drive your hummingbirds crazy. And if I’m lucky, cure me of size denial!