My Photinia x f. ‘Red Robin’ has some wonderful exotic looking red, white and yellow flowers appearing through its red and green foliage. A climbing honeysuckle is twining itself through its branches and is beginning to give the Phoinia a new and impressive look, but I’ll have to prune it out a bit next year so that it doesn’t smother the Photinia.
I’ve planted several honeysuckles along the fences of my garden so that they will mingle with other climbers and shrubs to cover the ugly fencing, giving me pretty flowers, food for wildlife as well as surround my garden with their sweet perfume when in flower.
Climbing honeysuckles are from the genus Lonicera, which is a large group of shrubs and twining climbers. They can be deciduous and evergreen with various colourful tubular flowers of which many are fragrant, and twine as they vigorously grow around whatever is closest to them. When newly planted they need fastening onto a support such as trellis, tree or shrub and guiding to where they are to twine. They grow in most aspects, sun to part shade in moist but well-drained soils. This year I found a couple of little self sets and planted them as well as taking a few semi-ripe cuttings to plant later when they’ve rooted. Taking cuttings is very easy!
I’ve let Lonicera periclymeum ‘Belgica’ climb up and along the fence trimming it only a little to tidy it up because I like the extra foot or so of height and colour it gives. It’s this one that has grown into my Photinia and I think its looks better this year because of the extra rain we’ve had so far.
In my wildlife/woodland garden I also have L. per. ‘Belgica’ and L. japonica ‘Halliana’. The first is intertwining with the ivy and clematis on the fence, and sprawling across a Cotoneaster x frigidus ‘Cornubia’ tree, which has been constantly buzzing with bees when it’s not raining. I’m really pleased with the effect it’s given there. The L. ‘Halliana’ is young and newly planted, is semi-evergreen with very fragrant white flowers that age to yellow, and will produce black berries later.