Thursday, 24 July 2008

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle, like lavender, is a beautiful plant that makes the garden smell wonderful on summer days.

The fast growing, climbing plant is great for covering ugly fences and walls as well as providing food for butterflies and a home for small animals and birds.

It is also a plant with considerable folklore.

Scottish traditions says that if honeysuckle grows around your front door, witches will be unable to enter your home. Well, I can't imagine it would do more than make me pause to enjoy the beautiful flowers and fragrance. In fact, I think it might even encourage me to knock on a front door to say how lovely it looked.

Honeysuckle is also said to protect gardens from evil and if the flowers are brought into the house they will attract offers of marriage. Bring them into the bedroom and their scent can inspire dreams of passion. In the language of flowers, honeysuckle represents fidelity in love, because of the way the stems wrap around each other and cling together.

Chinese herbalists use honeysuckle to treat colds, flu and fevers and it is also sometimes an ingredient in massage oils and body lotions for its scent and for its calming and healing effects. However, there are many different varieties of honeysuckle, with different properties, and the berries are poisonous. You should always get expert advice if you are thinking of using honeysuckle as an ingredient.

Links:
www.bbc.co.uk/gardening/plants/plantprofile_honeysuckle.shtml
www.new-age.co.uk/flower-language.htm
www.mysticalimage.co.uk/herbs2.html
www.herbsociety.co.uk/hom-honeysuckle.htm

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love honeysuckle and the childhood memories it evokes. I remember a large hedge growing next to our house, and we would pick the flowers and suck out the nectar.

There's quite a bit of honeysuckle growing wild near my home now, but the nectar has no taste at all. Maybe a different variety than what I remember from childhood.

Don't worry--I'll stay away from the berries!