Monday, 3 May 2010


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?
May blossoms
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.


  1. I haven't seen any hawthorn yet either, but I'm sure it won't be long before I do.

  2. Hi - loved your post - I agree, it would be lovely to keep up with a few more traditions. Your view as always is gorgeous.

    Wishing you a good weekend - :)


  3. I'm not sure if you I sent my comment correctly - x

  4. Lots in flower round here - but then I am further south than you.

    Just found you blog - think we're lots in common - a little brass player, 2 scouts & I'm the eldest of 7 too :)

  5. Going to try this as it is years since we made it blossom is out early this year.