Here in Wiltshire it's hardly a day to be dancing round the Maypole wearing a thin cotton frock with a floral garland in your hair but if you're a Celt (like us) it IS the start of Summer. From the kitchen table we can see gorgeous blossom on our apple trees and quince. Yesterday we gathered some wild garlic and the cornflowers and ammi we sowed at school last Autumn are now taller than the children who planted them. Cally's helping with preparations for the 'Flower Patch' stall at her daughter's school's Midsummer Strawberry Fair. Her young flower growers are in negotiations about pricing with the organisers. Should they pay a fee for the stall and keep the profits to expand the business or take a free pitch and donate a percentage of their profits to the general school fund? We've certainly cracked the financial responsibility part of the National Curriculum!
Whether you celebrate May Day, Beltane or Calan Haf, traditionally, the start of May has been a celebration of fertility and abundance. Cattle were driven out to summer pasture through the smoke of bonfires to bless them with health and fertility. Prayers were offered up for strong and abundant crops. Houses, maypoles.... and people were decorated with flowers. We like this idea. In fact, the Romans had a whole five day festival of flowers (Floralia) at the start of May. If you have a few blooms spare why not have a go at making a floral crown? Or make a May Day cone 'basket' out of brown paper and fill it with seasonal blooms for a friend. Decorate it with traditional May Day ribbons. We sold this week's school garden tulips like this.
Happy May Day. Celebrate it with flowers like Sara has with this week's arrangements.