Wednesday, April 16, 2008

May Day......

One of the most beloved of all books about life in the Victorian English countryside was Flora Thompson's trilogy Lark Rise to Candleford, a precious legacy from a way of life now lost forever. Here are Ms Thompson's memories of May Day:

On the last morning of April, the children would come to school with bunches, baskets, arms and pinafores full of flowers – every blossom they could find in the fields and hedges or beg from parents and neighbors. On the previous Sunday some of the bigger boys would have walked six or eight miles to a distant wood where primroses grew. These, with violets from the hedgerows, cowslips from the meadows, and wallflowers, oxlips and sprays of pale red flowering currant from the cottage gardens formed the main supply. A sweetbriar hedge in the schoolmistress’s garden furnished unlimited greenery.

Piled on desks, table, and floor, this supply appeared inexhaustible, but the garland was large and as the work of dressing it proceeded, it became plain that the present stock would “hardly go nowhere,” as the children said. So, foraging parties were sent out, on to the Rectory, another to the Squire’s and others to outlying farm houses and cottages. All returned loaded, for even the most miserly and garden-proud gave liberally to the garland. In time the wooden frame was covered, even if there had to be solid greenery to fill up at the back, out of sight. Then, the Top-Knot consisting of a bunch of crown imperial, yellow and brown, was added to crown the whole and the fragrant bowery structure was sprinkled with water and set aside for the night.

On May Day the children would sing….

All hail gentle spring with thy sunshine and showers
And welcome the sweet buds
That burst in the bowers:
Again we rejoice as thy light step and free
Brings leaves to the woodland and flowers to the bee,
Bounding, bounding, bounding, bounding
Joyful and gay,
Light and airy, like a fairy,
Come away, come away.
Come see our new garland so green and so gay
‘Tis the first fruits of spring and the glory of May
Here are they cowslips and daisies and hyacinths blue,
Here are the buttercups bright and anemones, too

…….Flora Thompson, 1878 – 1947

Here’s one of my favorite May Day poems….

Oh, let’s leave a basket of flowers today
For the little old lady who lives down our way.
We’ll heap it with violets white and blue,
With Jack-in-the-pulpit and wildflowers, too.
We’ll make it of paper and line it with ferns
Then hide, and we’ll watch her surprise when s
he turns,
And opens her door and looks out to see
Who in the world, it could possibly be!

.......Virginia Scott Miner
What are your plans for May Day??

Friday, April 11, 2008

A Picture is Worth........

We're back from vacation!! After mounds of laundry and catching up on my mail I wanted to share a few of the photos from our trip to Charleston and Savannah this year.

Architecture Extraordinaire......

The Fountains....

The Gardens and Parks...........

The Porches.....

The Churches.....