Beltane, Floralia and May Day
In more recent history, starting on 1st May 1886 with American workers first protesting about working conditions and hours, this time of the year was adopted by many countries for such demonstrations – although it was not until 1978 that the Labour Government introduced the May Day Bank Holiday to the British national calendar.
To add to the mix, traditionally May Day was on the 11th May, but in the mid-eighteenth century the calendar was moved forward by eleven days, but the may blossom – that is, that of the hawthorn, was at its best and it’s to this occurrence that the saying “Ne’er cast a clout until the May is out” refers. So, May denotes the blossom not the month itself!
According to Monty Don, April is the busiest month and May is his favourite month within the gardening calendar. Well, that may be the case in Herefordshire but here in my little corner of the Cotswolds it’s all fallen drastically behind and consequently there’s far too much to get on top of and under control. I have been physically incapacitated now for four weeks and upon seeing a chiropractor today was advised not to think that just because the hip and knee pain is easing a little that this is an indication that I can do any gardening. In actual fact, she recommended that, ideally, I should be signed off work for the next two weeks!
As you can imagine, I’m very frustrated - not just with the pain, but being so restricted.
However, Paul has been going great-guns with various practical tasks such as constructing ‘pallet-fences’, chipping concrete off brick walls and painting same. We are also attempting to ‘rescue’ a couple of pot-bound oak saplings, however, we don’t hold out much hope as the main tap root was damaged. Still, we’re giving it a go and watering and talking to them regularly. Well, I am - but maybe I also need to entreat the gods and goddesses of Beltane and Floralia?!
Hang in there Rosie! Let Paul take the strain for a while (sounds he’s been really useful so far). - do you “hire” him out?!
Paul number 2
I always use the phrase ‘don’t cast a clout till May is out’ and always thought it referred to the month ! You learn something new every day 😊 happy days
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