As described in an earlier post, I spend a lot of time in winter trying to rein in weeds, including Japanese honeysuckle, cutting it down and yanking it out whenever possible. I honestly never want to eradicate honeysuckle, as I cannot imagine late spring/ early summer in NC without its divine fragrance. But there can definitely be too much of a good thing. If you listened to the link from this post, you heard one of the twin sisters of Chapel Hill Sisters' Garden fame talk about honeysuckle. The sisters grew up in Arizona and grew a honeysuckle as a prized specimen, watering it with dishwater. The vine grew to the third storey of their house. Bernice Wade described how excited she was to see all of the honeysuckle in her yard when she moved to Chapel Hill in 1944. With laughter in her voice she said "I was in seventh heaven. I'm still fighting it however."
Honeysuckle can smother a lot of things since it grows so rampantly here. One of the things that needs rescuing is the giant prairie rose (Rosa setigera) beside the driveway. It started out as two young plants that I grew from seed. Once established they grew by leaps and bounds and by 2011 they had formed a mound that was over 8 yards in width and about 6 feet high. This rose is insane. It has cast itself another 10+ feet outward since then, over a ditch towards the neighbor's fence and up the driveway. The only thing that could stop it would be the honeysuckle, or that horrible thing called RRD.
As you can imagine trying to get honeysuckle out of the middle of a rose isn't the most fun of garden chores. There is repeated impalement by thorns. R. setigera has sturdy hooked thorns that go right through jeans and sweatshirts. There is cursing. But the pain and blood drawn is worth it.
This rose doesn't have any fragrance, but it has so many beautiful flowers and attracts so many bees I don't miss it. I've planted two more beside the drive further up the hill and two across the drive from that. There's also room between the drive and the neighbor's pasture and I've planted half a dozen there too. All grown from seed. If they all stay healthy one day there will be a lot of space filled with prairie roses.