"I know a bank where the wild thyme blows, Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows, Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine, With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine: There sleeps Titania sometime of the night, Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight" - from 'A Midsummer Night's Dream' by William Shakespeare. The first of my scented plants this month is a rosa rubiginosa also known as sweet brier. When Shakespeare was writing it was known as eglantine. It's a wild rose bearing soft pink single flowers which are lightly scented but it's the foliage which is the more fragrant. If your grow this and should venture out on a warm wet summer evening your nostrils are likely to be assailed by the aroma of stewed apples floating through the air. The scent can also be detected on drier days by rubbing the slightly sticky leaves between the fingers. The arching branches can grow up to eight foot or so in height and it's a prickly customer. In the autumn and into early winter it's decorated with rose-red hips. I think that I must have bought this plant at a NGS open garden. I've never seen it for sale at a garden centre. It self-seeds gently and I'm always happy to share the seeds. I've got this plant growing both in the garden where it has unfortunately become rather straggly. My fault entirely for not being a more ruthless pruner. I've also got a more robust specimen at the allotment which started life as a seedling in the garden. My next door plot neighbour liked it so much that she asked for a seedling which is now thriving and is in flower over on her plot.
My second plant is honeysuckle or lonicera which Shakespeare refers to as woodbine. The plant you can see above just appeared growing at the edge of the garden as well as in a second spot nestled in amongst a beech hedge. It is a climbing rather than a shrubby honeysuckle and although not certain of its identity I think is our native honeysuckle lonicera periclymenum. Although I've not tried I believe it is easily propagated by taking cuttings in early summer or by layering in spring or summer. The flowers are appreciated by both moths and bees. The scent takes me back to the garden of my childhood when a honeysuckle was planted in close proximity to my bedroom window. If I close my eyes I can smell the scent and hear my parent's voices as they worked in the garden on long summer evenings when we were tucked in bed. I must ask my sister if she can remember. There is also a honeysuckle on my allotment plot which I inherited. Its a shrubby one but I do not have a photograph of it but like those in the garden it seems to be resplendent with flowers this year. It seems to be a particularly good year for honeysuckles. Has anybody else noticed this? It's hardly surprising that Titania, the Queen Of The Fairies nodded off in such a delightful spot. I will be visiting 'Wellywoman' later to see what other June flowers might lull my senses and help me dream sweet dreams. Thanks to the lovely Louise for hosting.