Sweet, masking May, in white or red
Her snowy cloud of blossoms spread.
(Walter Crane: Floras Feast.)
Hawthorn in full bloom resembles a bride don't you think?
I love it and it's pungent aroma. It's OK to deck your maypole or if you are a milkmaid hang a garland on the horns of your cow but never bring it indoors or bad luck will befall you.
I wish we still honoured some of the old traditions. It must have been so exciting preparing for a celebration and a feast.
How about a glass of May Liqueur?
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 bottle brandy
Gather the blossoms in full sun, trim stalks, use only flowerheads.
Pack in wide necked jars, sprinkle on sugar and add brandy.
Seal and leave in a sunny spot till warm.
Shake to dissolve sugar then leave in dark cupboard for 3 months.
Strain and leave for a further 4-6 months before drinking.
Do let me know if you try this!
Anyway, the hawthorn is not yet in bloom in cool East Lancashire. However, a few days spring rain after a remarkably dry April has dramatically altered our view here in the hills....
Here's to lots of sunshine and blossom and happiness on high days and holidays.