Monday, July 20, 2009

Coolaney Rose and Woodbine

The rambling or climbing roses are doing well in the garden this year entwined with woodbine. The rose originally grew at the railway station in Coolaney and I took cuttings and they thrived here in Meath. I've no idea where it originally came from or what its correct name is.

The woodbine is Lonicera periclymenum Belgica and it has also done well.

Robert Frost mentions both the rose and woodbine in his poem To Earthward.

The woodbine is also mentioned in Milton's Paradise Lost. It's just before the fall, Adam wants Eve to work with him in the garden, she wants to go off and work on her own. She says:

Let us divide our labours, thou where choice
Leads thee, or where most needs, whether to wind

The Woodbine round this Arbour, or direct

The clasping Ivie where to climb

(Paradise Lost Book 9, 214-217)

Adam agrees, the devil in disguise tempts her and you know the rest.

More about woodbine here and here.


Honor Duff said...

What a lovely photo of the honeysuckle and roses - aren't they the words of a song? If the roses are also scented, it's a real bonus. I wonder if Woodbine is the more usual term in Ireland? Thanks for the extra explanation on this most exquisite plant, and for the hitherto unread Robert Frost poem.

Michael Farry said...

You're right Honor, "Honeysuckle Rose" is a 1928 song composed by Fats Waller, with lyrics written by Andy Razaf. You'll find a number of versions on youTube.

Honor Duff said...

Should have remembered it was a Fats song. My mother was a fan. She loved "Your Feet's Too Big" and "The Joint is Jumpin" with the lines: "check your weapons at the door", and, "don't give your right name, oh-nooo!".