Appalachia Through My Eyes Wildflowers & Trees Of Appalachia

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Honeysuckle

The trail between our house and Pap’s smells so sweet I’d like to take a chair and sit in the middle of the road.

Earlier this year as we helped Granny and Pap get started on the garden at their house-one of the projects was to pull the honeysuckle from Granny’s red bud tree. They pulled-they sawed-and finally they tied one end of a rope around a big chunk of it and the other end to the back of The Deer Hunter’s truck. When he laid the gas to it for a moment it seemed the whole tree would come down, but the honeysuckle gave up it’s hold on the red bud and down the road it went behind the truck.

I thought “Oh no what if he got all the honeysuckle.” See I didn’t want to miss that feeling I get every year when the honeysuckle around Pap’s house blooms. I stand still and give the air a good sniff like a hound dog and as I look at the blooms and smell the sweet scent I just know the world will be o.k. one way or another-how could it not be in the face of honeysuckle?


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.


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  • Reply
    Pepper D Basham
    May 20, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    THAT SCENT!!! Oh my goodness! It’s nostalgic and ‘home’ all at once!

  • Reply
    Pamela Kirk
    May 20, 2019 at 11:48 am

    I am with you. When spring comes and the honeysuckle are in bloom…I stop even along the road and just take in the smell. I love it! I always have. We have been trying to get honeysuckle growing at our place. It grows all around us but so far we have not been successful. Will keep trying because I love it!

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    June 1, 2016 at 11:12 am

    we brought some honeysuckle from my aunt’s house in NW GA and transplanted it — weren’t too sure how it would fare in Central Florida but it began to do well. Until, the yard man destroyed it with the mower 🙁

    • Reply
      Kim Emery
      May 20, 2019 at 10:21 pm

      My sweet Papaw taught me how to get that one precious drop of honey from each flower… gently breaking the green tip and pulling that little thread to find the tiny drop of nectar at the end. Such sweet memories… How I miss him and that sweet smell

  • Reply
    Cullen in Clyde
    June 1, 2016 at 10:20 am

    Went to college in northwest Florida with a guy from the Seattle, WA area. The first Spring he experienced honeysuckle was pretty funny. Once he understood where the fragrance was coming from, he would get a whiff and say very expressively, “Man alive!” Another anecdote comes from a trip we were making together. As we were riding down the road in my old pickup, I would raise my fingers from the steering wheel to speak to the folks we were meeting on the road. Most would return the gesture. After a few miles, my friend exclaimed, “Do you know all these people?!?!” Guess they do things a little different in the Pac Northwest. 🙂

  • Reply
    May 19, 2011 at 8:36 am

    I’m right there with ya, Tipper. One sniff of honeysuckle and I stop dead in my tracks and breathe deep. I look forward to the honeysuckle each spring as much as I do the daisies.

  • Reply
    May 16, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Joe-I think some of the kids do-at least mine do : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    May 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

    RB-no but I’d like too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    May 16, 2011 at 1:04 pm

    Pat-I haven’t a clue-maybe someone else will though : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Music, Giveaways, Mountain Folk
    All at

  • Reply
    May 15, 2011 at 7:46 pm

    I love the smell of honeysuckle! That is one of the few memories I have of my grandpa on my dad’s side of the family. The hillside on the path leading down to his house was covered with honeysuckle and I can still remember the smell.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    Oh, I do miss the honeysuckle!

  • Reply
    May 15, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    We have some around the back of our yard and the last few nights as I sit on the couch in the Living room that sweet smell will come through the window on the breeze and I have to stop and breath deeply and thank God that I live where I can truly enjoy his creation. Oh, and my mother says when you smell honeysuckle that there is an angel near by.—Don’t know what they smell like the rest of the year. 😉

  • Reply
    Melissa P. (misplaced Southerner)
    May 15, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    I know what you mean. I get to missin that smell so much that I bought some candles that smell like honeysuckle. Funny, I’ve got them lit right now. We have bushes up here in Michigan that smell sweet for about a week in late spring. They call them honeysuckle bush, but they are really russian olive and don’t smell at all like honeysuckle. They are nice, but they can’t compete with real honeysuckle.

  • Reply
    May 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I am not a big fan of spring time but I do enjoy all the new groth and the freshness and smell from the flowers.
    Whitetail Woods™

  • Reply
    May 15, 2011 at 11:44 am

    I totally agree! I have plain old cream colored bloom all summer honeysuckle everywhere up by the house, well I did for the last twenty years. This last winter, either the super early, super cold freeze caught them by surprise or the extra foot of rain all spring wore them out, but I lost all the batches along one fence line completely and only have a few green sprigs surviving on the short fence around the front porch and along the driveway. I’m one sad honeysuckle sniffin’ girl.

  • Reply
    Mary Rutherford
    May 15, 2011 at 9:29 am

    When I was a little girl I would spend hours carefully filling my tiny teacups with honeysuckle nectar one drop at a time. I would leave them out near the creek overnight for the fairies to feast on. In the morning the nectar was always gone but my tiny mud pies would still be untouched. The fairies definitely had a sweet tooth!

  • Reply
    Pat in east TN
    May 15, 2011 at 6:10 am

    There is no honeysuckle here on our land or the land surrounding us. I miss it so, as I’ve always had it around me where ever we lived and it gave me so much pleasure in springtime.
    Our land/woods was horse pasture for years before we bought it .. do you think they might have killed it out?

  • Reply
    Glenda B
    May 15, 2011 at 2:42 am

    Back home in S GA, I used to love walking out in the morning and down the road with the smell of honeysuckle in the air. The dew would be on the leaves of the morning glories that ran on the fence.Those are sweet memories of home. I don’t have honeysuckle on my property here in the mountains, but I still remember that wonderful smell.

  • Reply
    Suzi Phillips
    May 14, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    The fresh smell& taste of honeysuckle always takes me back to childhood mountain memories. I lived in the city, my grand parents still lived out on the mountain-for me,honeysuckle has always been Appalachia personified. It’s just home. My poor parents! They completely failed to make me a city girl.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 10:05 pm

    I could just about get drunk on the smell of honeysuckle…

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    May 14, 2011 at 8:33 pm

    I love your recollections. Time to start the garden–yes.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Honeysuckle blossoms are sweet and make a great cuppa hot tea. It’s so tasty in fact, one of the cats we once had would eat them; you’d go out in the yard and there’d not be a blossom within 3 feet of the ground, as high as he could reach on his hind feet. ;o)
    Ever have honeysuckle tea?

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 4:16 pm

    We had dinner on the porch a few evenings ago (in between storms)..the heat and humidity amplified the honeysuckle smell. Just amazing! It was like dessert without the calories.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Boy I sure have pulled and yanked a chance of honeysuckle for sure. I love the smell, but not quite sure if it’s something I might could be allergic to. As kids it seems we would pinch the bottom off of the flower and then pull the string-thing up and taste the honey.
    Do kids do any of the things we used to do now?

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    May 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Love the smell and the taste; sorry you had to pull it up! Enjoy your weekend and that lovely smell. 😉

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm

    Earlier this week I was checking to see if the trout had come up my
    little creek. But the smell got my
    attention even more. There are lots of little white flowers on vines along the creeksides and they smell sooo good. I don’t know
    what they are, I just think of them as creek flowers. But they
    don’t look like honeysuckle.
    I always enjoy everybody’s comments and participation in the
    daily life in Appalachia…Ken

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 10:43 am

    When I was little I thought surely heaven must smell like honeysuckle.
    All 4 of my kids remember being taught how to catch the single drop of “honey” on their tongues. My 5 yr old thinks it’s the greatest thing in the world to do!

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    May 14, 2011 at 10:40 am

    I miss the honeysuckle – none to be had here in south Florida. The smell is wonderful, but, like Miss Cindy, I have memories of tasting the nectar. We did it a bit differently. Pull the blossom off the plant, then carefully pinch the base of the blossom and pull it out of the blossom. If done carefully, we would wind up with a drop of nectar on the end of the pistil, which we licked off. DEElicious!

  • Reply
    Sherie Rowe
    May 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Another favorite of mine comes delicately just before the honeysuckle, the scent of the blackberries blooming after the Blackberry Winter! I also love the smell when the honeysuckle, blackberries and wild roses are all in bloom simultaneously! May in Appalachia is my favorite time of year!

  • Reply
    Ron Corley
    May 14, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Tipper, Good Morning! Just wanted to let you know just how much I enjoy your daily posts. And even if I don’t always leave a comment, please know how much they are valued and appreciated. If I fail to read one that comes in my email, it is also there for me on my Facebook page. It’s fun to see and read about your Appalachian life … and I’m getting a real good education. It sure helps this Colorado boy now living here in East TN. May God richly bless you and your family! Your friend, Ron

  • Reply
    Eva M. Wike, Ph.D.
    May 14, 2011 at 9:37 am

    YEP! Tipper, just yesterday in the evening Jim and I were sitting on the patio admiring our ‘latest’ addition (Ambiance Rose) to our setting. Then I smelled the honeysuckle which is growing all over our forsythia hedge. I was stricken with the wonderful scent! But next week I will attack it – but I assure you it will be back next year!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    May 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

    I love that smell! When I’m out walking I stop to enjoy that sweet smell. Have you ever tasted a honeysuckle flower. When I was little I would pull the blossom off and suck the bottom of it. It is, indeed, sweet. Someone must have told me, tho I don’t remember who, that that is why they are called honeysuckle. You suck that blossom and it tastes like honey.
    Not thought of that in years!!!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 9:18 am

    The smell of honeysuckle is like no other! You don’t see much honeysuckle here in the midwest but the smell immediately brings me back to my southern childhood : )

  • Reply
    Mary Jane
    May 14, 2011 at 8:50 am

    I LOVE the smell of honeysuckle, too. We don’t have any here at our house, but I hope to fix that soon. My husband loved that smell most of all, but he had a pretty severe concussion with a fall on the ice a couple of years ago, and he lost his sense of smell. I feel so sorry for him. Pinnacle Creek, four o’clocks are a favorite of mine, too, and I also love the smell of the mimosa trees.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:40 am

    me to on the loving the sweet smell of honeysuckle, also the sweet smell of night blooming jasmine. i know it had to come down, but it is a little sad.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Tipper, it always surprises me how you are able to capture all of what is Appalachia. I have for so many years loved the fragrance of Honeysuckle. It is there when I go get my mail, and one year the fragrance almost took my breath at the local Mall. I have tried to share this with others, but most seem barely interested. My Mother did say my Dad transplanted it sucessfully one time. Imagine that! It is easily my most favorite fragrance with Four ‘o clocks coming in a close second. These mountains and valleys are full of the most fascinating sounds, sights. and fragrances. I love night sounds also, but rarely hear anyone mention this. A lot of your readers are probably kindred spirits.

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:29 am

    I am sooo jealous, that sounds awesome. Since moving almost 6 years ago, I miss the smell of orange blossoms in So California. It’s like a right of passage from one season to the next & like you, life would stop for those moments I would take in the sweet scent God sent my way. I may NEED to invest in some Honeysuckle now 🙂
    BTW, did you see my new venture… Mama’s got a brand new bag!

  • Reply
    May 14, 2011 at 8:08 am

    I have grown to truly enjoy wildflowers in my yard because I don’t have to work so hard to cultivate them. I never knew about the sweet taste of honeysuckle nectar until my 4 year old showed me. He said “I just know these things.”

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    May 14, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Right on time the Catbirds have shown up with the sweet smelling honeysuckle here on our hill….I was out early yesterday morning taking in the sweet fragrance and watching the birds…I’m sure the Catbirds have a nest near the honeysuckle brush since hearing their constant “mewing” to discourage other birds…
    I love honeysuckle so much I have planted three species here…A Red one I planted on the driveway fence for the hummingbirds…A pink and cream one with mint colored leaves near our small pond on a trellis…A Japanese orange one with longer trumpets planted in a whiskey barrel on the corner of the shed with a trellis, but a slow bloomer for me…All the above are not invaseive for me..Then we have our native honeysuckle…and a native honeysuckle that seems to have a pink tubes not like the white and yellow ones..I won’t let my husband cut completely out! ha It just may be the soil or the amount of light it gets..that makes the color change..but I think there are several species of native honeysuckle….
    Alas…the fence row wild Privet hedge is honing in on the scent of the honeysuckle with its strong “nose tickling” odor…
    Thanks Tipper…

  • Reply
    Stacy Guidice
    May 14, 2011 at 7:17 am

    I love honeysuckle! When I am out walking the dog and pass some, it just stops me in my tracks. And takes me back to when I was a kid playing in the woods. It is one of the great rites of spring to smell honeysuckle in the sweet air!

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