Summer Solstice is the first day of Summer!
It is also the longest day of the year (…..and the shortest night of the year).
It was a medieval custom to collect flowers on the longest day (ie for their healing properties). Typically, Apothecaries would gather herbs on this day (eg St John’s Wort, Chamomile, Geraniums, and Thyme).
To celebrate, they would light a bonfire and dance around it. Flowers collected on this day would release their fragrant aromas when thrown on bonfire (to eradicate bad luck and negative energy).
Just a quick update regarding my services and COVID-19:-
I have decided to PAUSE my business in support of the NHS and for the safety of my customers and myself. The guidance from the government is not definitive, but the message is very clear:
“If you are not crucial to the fight against Coronavirus – STAY AT HOME!”
It saddens me to have to do this, but I have the utmost respect for everyone who is putting themselves at risk, and working tirelessly to fight this disease, and I hope to restart again soon.
On a positive note, it looks like everyone is embracing their gardens, and hopefully falling-in-love with gardening again. We have been fortunate to have had some amazing weather at the moment, and we can now all catch-up on those jobs we have been meaning to do for ages.
Stay Safe everyone, happy gardening, and THANK YOU to all the key workers, in particular the NHS and care workers! x
Instead of taking place on Monday (4 May), May Day (this year) will be on Friday (8 May), to mark VE Day itself (Victory in Europe Day).
Therefore, as many people as possible will have the opportunity to remember and honour our heroes of the Second World War. It will be the 75th Anniversary of World War II, and it may be the last chance for many of us to say THANK YOU to the WW2 veterans (now in their 90’s), while they are still alive. A very special day indeed! Unfortunately, this has now been tainted by the Corona Virus outbreak, but I hope we can still afford some time to show our respects.
It is common practice for people in France to give each other a posy of Lily-of-the-valley today…….. for Good Luck, and as a symbol of Spring!
Sounds like a lovely idea.
Why not give it a go: Pop them in a glass jar (with some twine wrapped around it. Leave them for your elderly neighbours……Happiness in a jar. A perfect THANK YOU! x
Easter will be especially strange this year:- with the outbreak of Coronavirus. Luckily, nature and the seasons are carrying on regardless, and will help us all get through this very difficult time.
Easter is always on a Sunday, but it changes every year (but it’s usually 3 weeks after Mothers Day).
It is on the Sunday following the ‘first full moon’ after the ‘first day of spring’. eg in March or April.
Traditionally, the church celebrates Easter with bell-ringing and White Lillies…though it always makes ‘me’ think of daffodils…….probably because I love them so much! :o)
Mother’s day is on the fourth Sunday of Lent (in the UK). It is usually 3 weeks before Easter Sunday (which is late this year).
So why do we give flowers on Mothering Sunday?
The tradition comes from a time when young children (who were ‘in service’ to other households) returned home on the 4th Sunday of Lent to attend church with their families. They would gather wild flowers as they walked, to take to the church or give to their mothers (and daffodils were the flower in natural abundance at that time of year).
This tradition has changed over the years, but the giving of the humble daffodil is still my favourite! After all….who wouldn’t love a golden bunch of daffodils on Mother’s Day!
This year was a little bit different, due to the world-wide outbreak of the Coronavirus, where many ‘mothers’ were alone (self-isolating), and family left flowers on the doorstep with a virtual hug (for their protection). Quite a sad and emotional day really, for everyone.
Don’t forget to ALTER YOUR CLOCKS!……for Daylight Saving Time!
– it begins on the last Sunday in March.
– it ends on the last Sunday in October.
“Daylight Saving Time” allows us to use less energy in lighting our homes by taking advantage of the longer and later daylight hours (ie so get gardening folks!).
The phrase “Spring forward, Fall back” helps us remember how Daylight Saving Time affects the clocks.
On the last Sunday in March, we set our clocks forward 1 hour ahead of Standard Time.
On the last Sunday in October, we set our clocks back 1 hour. Thus returning to Standard Time.
….its not quite as straightforward as you think:
It dates back to Victorian times, when people expressed their feelings with symbols (eg cards, flowers, gifts) instead of words. For example, different blooms (and even the ‘number’ of blooms) have different meanings:
– 13 Red roses: you have an admirer
– 6 Roses: you need to be loved or cherished
– 2 intertwined Roses: hint of a marriage proposal
– 1 Rose (any colour): represents complete devotion
– 1 Rose (red): symbolises love, romance, beauty and perfection!
It is often said, that plants and flowers start to grow on this day…….St Valentine comes on February 14th to bring keys to all the roots, meaning that nature starts to awaken!
In the 1700’s, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, single women used to sprinkle 5 bay leaves with rosewater and pin them to their pillow (ie one in the middle, and one in each corner). They believed that the scent/ leaves would make them dream of their future husband. Why not give it a try? :o)
Whatever you decide to do today, enjoy your ‘Day of Romance’!…..(and let the gardening begin!)