GBBD: Unexpected Honeysuckle

Photo of Lonicera flowering unexpectedly in December

I expect to see my winter honeysuckle starting to bloom at this time of the year, so it was a bit of a surprise to find this summer flowering version instead on my walk around the garden this morning.

It's a self-sown flower too, so it qualifies as a double Against the Odds for my front garden this month. It suddenly appeared through my Euonymus 'Silver Queen' last year, presumably a gift bestowed by a passing bird. It must be a keen survivor as it germinated in a deeply shaded spot.

The scent alerted me to the second flush of flowers appearing after its usual summer blooming earlier this year. It's not one of the most spectacular of summer honeysuckles in looks, but it certainly makes up for it in terms of scent.

I'm undecided whether it'll remain in my front garden. Tough as old boots and scented plants are usually welcome, but like the old man's beard which has crept through from the hedgerow nearby, this one looks like it's set to dominate the garden if I let it.

It's another example of the topsy-turvy time we've had in the garden this year. What's flowering against the odds for you this month?

Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

A more typical view of summer honeysuckle for this time of the year


  1. Wow, a honeysuckle that likes deep shade & flowers in winter, even if it's not meant to. That's a plant I'd like. Pity the bird didn't drop the variety name with the seed ;)

    1. Hi Gwenfar - there are winter honeysuckles and they have a powerful scent which is wonderful at this time of the year. 'Winter Beauty' is one of the best and mine is growing in the shady (until recently) border in my back garden. Well worth growing and probably much more reliable than this summer usurper!

  2. I had no idea there were winter honeysuckles, how lovely. The last few of my remaining summer annuals have just about finished now, but they did go on for a long time this year. And I had a handful of artichoke buds last month, after I'd cut the plants down and they'd regrown.

  3. Lovely honeysuckle!
    I have goldenrod blooming - unusual this time of year, so I guess it would qualify for Against The Odds.
    Happy Garden Blogger' Bloom Day!

  4. You have a beautiful confused plant, how lovely that it still has a perfume now that it is colder.

  5. We're definitely having an up-and-down winter in Austin, Texas, this year. Well, down-and-up, to be accurate. After an unwelcome and surprisingly early freeze, we're now luxuriating in the 70s (21C). The plants are confused, with irises blooming in some gardens around town.

  6. Here the black birds are singing?!! I think it's not just plants that are confused.

  7. Oh what a surprise VP. Here I have roses and snowdrops flowering in tandem which is a first! Interesting point raised above by Pauline as my roses are not as strongly scented as they were back in the summer.

  8. Honeysuckle is always welcome, although I have a similar one in my garden which is trying to take over. The winter ones are a delight. I "love Winter Beauty' and one with large pinkish flowers called 'Elisae'.


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