A Gardening Journal

Bud Watch: 'Winter Beauty' Honeysuckle



The first bud of a young plant, which will open to the first flower. It happens frequently in my gardens, despite the property's having been a country-village house—and, therefore, a garden in one form or another—for nearly three centuries. For the first two, it's unlikely that "garden" meant anything other than vegetables. And in the third, right to the time we bought this property nearly twenty years ago, ornamental gardens were modest.


This bud is of one of the best cold-season honeysuckles, Lonicera x purpusii 'Winter Beauty'. It's the first 'Winter Beauty' bud on the property, ever—probably in the whole neighborhood, even the state. In both senses, 'Winter Beauty' is a "cool" bloomer, but it certainly is taking its time. This young plant is being staked up; its horizontal branches are easy to train into a simple topiary.




I'll post in-depth when the flowers—fragrant, tough, long-lasting—finally appear. As the shrub's topiary shape forms, I'll post again.


Here's how to grow 'Winter Beauty' honeysuckle, as well as a look at the shrub when it's in flower in late Winter and early Spring. Happily, the same tactics that give this shrub a shapely profile year-round also enhance the production as well as display of these showy young stems.


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