My mother discovered a honeysuckle bush on my property while she was visiting. Who me? I have a honeysuckle bush? Really? Really. Turns out, I have two. We were standing in front of the arborvitaes and I was busy pointing out the swath of freshly exposed land; the aftermath of the tree cutting we had done in the fall. “This was all trees and brush…” I said, throwing my arms wide. My mother wasn’t listening. Instead she was peering through the arborvitaes. Like timid children hiding behind their mother’s skirt were two spindly, scrawny bushes. “I think you have honeysuckles back there…” She moved closer, carefully as if not to scare them off. “They’re past bloom,” she practically whispered, “but they look just like what I have on the island…” My mother, now convinced I own two honeysuckle bushes, immediately launched into What You Should Do to care for them. I felt like running for a notebook.
This wasn’t the only discovery on the property. Soon my mother was pointing out tiny blue flowers and instructing me not to weed them for “they make good ground cover and they’re pretty.” I guess so. They were kind of hard to see. Then there was the education on how to care for something that sounded like “Youwannamus.” “You’ll want to dig that youwannamus up in the fall and replant it along the house…” The who goes where? This was followed by other trinkets of advice: fertilize that Asiatic lily in the fall, trim the rose bush (now?), deadhead the geraniums, seed the soil…she droned on, pointing this way and that.
While I was grateful for every word I knew I wouldn’t remember everything. I begged for a calendar – something that would remind me, mid-September, to water the whatever, dig up the doodad in the back. For now I will relish the idea of owning good ground cover, a youwanna-something-er-rather and I’ll pride in the honeysuckle sweet.