Behind the house is a small patch of grass (it needs mowing at the moment). Beyond the grass, the oak trees of the wood march down the hill and the rhododendrons, lilac, broom and gorse of the shrubbery, fight a fierce rearguard action. Giving ground only where they must, pushing back up the hill, seizing every opportunity to advance when they can. Glancing out of the window earlier this week something in the lilac tree caught my eye. Sure enough, on closer inspection, a few strands of honeysuckle had appeared there, out of nowhere.

Dr Bach, in 1936, felt that Honeysuckle was the treatment for those who were stuck in the past, with no wish to move forward. Nicholas Culpeper, in around 1653, wrote that “a conserve made from the flowers should be kept in every gentlewoman’s house.” As it was good for all those women’s problems, which we won’t list here, although he did. John Gerard, writing in 1597, declared that, “a syrup made of the flowers is good to be drunk against diseases of the lungs and spleen.”

The flowers have a wonderful scent in the evening – especially after a warm sunny day, the berries are mildly poisonous and goats find the leaves absolutely delicious – or so they say.

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