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).
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!)
Candlemas Day (also called Ground Hog Day) marks the midpoint of Winter, and is used to predict the weather for the rest of Winter:
If Candlemas day be fair and bright ,
Winter will have another fight.
If Candlemas day brings cloud and rain
Winter won’t come again.
So: if the sun comes out on 2nd February, it meant six more weeks of winter weather.
In 2020: We had light rain….but the sun did come out!……Hope it means No More Winter Weather in Urmston!!!
Candlemas has been celebrated for hundreds of years and it was the custom for clergy to bless candles and distribute them to the people. It was a festival of candles (ie a bright light, in the middle of a cold/dark winter, was placed in every window).
Any Christmas decorations not taken down by the Twelth Night (ie January 5th) should be left up until Candlemas Day (and then taken down).
So, today I am quietly celebrating International Women’s Day …….in my own garden for a change!
It is a day for Inspiration and Change!
Today has given me time to reflect on my own actual achievements’, in particular my own gardening business. Life is never easy, but I do believe you have to have a dream, to ever be able to achieve anything outside your own comfort zone! So go ahead…pick your dream, and take action today….no matter how big or small….start putting the steps in place TODAY and you’re well-on your way to achieving your dream!
I didn’t start my own business until late-on in my career, when I suddenly decided I needed a career change, and quick! (I am a little impulsive like that!) It was the best decision I have ever made! I now have a successful business, I’ve featured in The Sun newspaper, had a scarecrow replica made of me (Thanks Val!), and featured in an AXA Insurance advert! It has been so much more than “just a Dream” so far. However, I have to say, I could not have done it without the help and support from my husband Dave! So even on this special day for women, I would like to share my success in ‘equal parity’ with my amazing husband (the Boiler Man @ G20 Gas Services)!
Happy International Women’s Day everyone xx