On our latest Trek to Riverbanks Botanical Garden we found "Kiss-Me-At-The-Garden-Gate" and "Sweet Breath of Spring" sitting among the plants that were for sale. These are two names for the winter-blooming shrub "Winter Honeysuckle" that supplies nectar for Hummingbirds arriving early in the Carolinas. We bought one and proudly brought it home.
It has a stiff form and jiggles in the wind. The flowers are white and frilly with bright yellow anthers arching out from inside. They smell like Lemons and their fragrance drifts on the breeze. The early spring bees have come to do their pollen dance on it.
During February as I sat on the deck, "Greenbean" the Hummingbird zoomed around me and then sat on a Crepe Myrtle branch above watching me. I quickly hung out a nectar feeder, but the baby squirrels played a game of tip it and run below to lick the nectar off the deck railing and finally they just chewed it apart, so I threw it away. When "Greenbean" returns, Winter Honeysuckle will be waiting for him on the deck railing outside the kitchen window. I can't wait.
A Verse written by Joyce Hemsley of Sunderland, England:
"The Seasons have just drifted by,
many moons have graced the sky.
Whilst Winter's Honeysuckle bloom
has filled the air with sweet perfume."