Funny, but there are still a handful of smells that I can distinctly remember from my youth. One was the smell of a new baseball mitt, a strong leather scent that lasted until you left your glove out in the rain just once. Another smell was that of a new pair of blue jeans, the aroma of the strong indigo dye was tantalizing. Another unforgettable scent I recall was from Grandma Brewer’s kitchen when she – or Aunt Lena – baked fresh yeast rolls.
And a sweet smell I’ll never forget was that of honeysuckle. The fence behind the batting cage on the Little League field in Lewisburg, WV was covered in honeysuckle and the sweetness of that smell was haunting As kids, we used to pluck the honeysuckle blooms and suck out a morsel or two of sweet nectar.
Honeysuckle is in bloom now. And no French perfume smells as sweet.
They say that the honeysuckle is the “Queen of Flowering Plants.” Ferris Cook, who penned “The Garden Trellis”, said that “If I had only one trellis, I’d probably plant a honeysuckle.”
Not many today plant the sweet-smelling vines , but they readily grow wild along roadsides and the edges of woods. Honeysuckle was once thick on the floors of Virginia’s forests, until the explosion of deer, then honeysuckle largely went away in the backwoods.
Many landscapers encourage the planting of honeysuckle, especially near doors or windows through which the sweet smell can permeate. They also suggest planting the hardy vine to hide old tree stumps and other eyesores. Honeysuckle weaving through a chain-link fence forms a natural privacy barrier and honeysuckle anywhere in a backyard is a bird magnet – for nesting, shelter and feeding – especially hummingbirds.
This spring, take advantage of one of the sweetest of all smells. If you see honeysuckle in bloom, draw near and inhale its grandeur.