May

Quotations for Gardeners, Walkers, and Lovers of the Green Way
Poems, Quotes, Folklore, Myths, Customs, Holidays, Traditions, Verses
Celebrations, Sayings, Poetry, Quips, Lore, Links, Recommended Reading
Gardening Chores for the Month of May 


Compiled by Karen and Mike Garofalo
Green Way Research, Red Bluff, California 

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Quotes


The Month of May
Poetry, Quotations, Sayings, Facts, Information, Quips, Aphorisms

 

"The wind is tossing the lilacs,
The new leaves laugh in the sun,
And the petals fall on the orchard wall,
But for me the spring is done.

Beneath the apple blossoms
I go a wintry way,
For love that smiled in April
Is false to me in May."
-  Sara Teasdale, May  

 

"A swarm of bees in May
Is worth a load of hay;
A swarm of bees in June
Is worth a silver spoon;
A swarm of bees in July
Is not worth a fly."
-  Rhyme from England

 

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"May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it's time for work to begin." 
-  Peter Loewer  

 

"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."
-  Edwin Way Teale

 

"Be like a flower and turn your face to the sun."
- Kahlil Gibran

 

"What potent blood hath modest May."
-  Ralph W. Emerson

 

"Sweet spring, full of sweet days and roses,
A box where sweets compacted lie."
-  George Herbert, Virtue 

 

A Note to Readers:  On May 1, 2011, this webpage was moved to a new webserver at The Month of May.  It is now being maintained, updated, expanded, and improved at its new location on a another webserver

 

"Spring rain
leaking through the roof
dripping from the wasps' nest."
- Matsuo Basho

 

Gardening at the Dragon's Gate: At Work in the Wild and Cultivated Worlds by Wendy Johnson
The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation by the Findhorn Community
One Old Druids Final Journey: Notebooks of the Librarian at Gushen Grove
The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Messervy 
A Garden's Promise: Spiritual Reflections on Growing from the Heart by Judith Couchman 
The Soul Garden: Creating Garden Spaces for Inner Growth and Spiritual Renewal by Donald Norfork 
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer
Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden by Martin Hakubai Mosko
Sacred Circle Garden by Karen and Mike Garofalo
Sacred Gardens by Michel and Judy Marcellot
Spiritual Gardening: Creating Sacred Space Outdoors by Peg Streep
Gardens for the Soul: Designing Outdoor Spaces Using Ancient Symbols and Healing Plants by Pamela Woods 

 

                             

 

 

"Don't knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while."
-  Kin Hubbard

 

"By the time one is eighty, it is said, there is no longer a tug of war in the garden with the May flowers hauling like mad against the claims of the other months.  All is at last in balance and all is serene.  The gardener is usually dead, of course."
-  Henry Mitchell, The Essential Earthman 

 

"If it's drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you'll get it.  You will know the thrill of battle fighting foes that will beset it.  If you long for entertainment and for pageantry most glowing, plant a garden and this summer spend your time with green things growing."
-  Edward A. Guest, Plant a Garden

 

Seasonal Celebrations: Inspirational Ideas to Mark the Changing Seasons by Tessa Evelegh
In Celebration of Summer: A Book of Seasonal Indulgences by Helen Thompson
Time and the Art of Living by Robert Grudin
A Druid's Herbal for the Sacred Earth Year by Ellen Evert Hopman 
Complete Seasons Cookbook by Joanne Weir
Dancing with the Sun: Celebrating the Seasons of Life by Yasmine Galenorn
Exploring The Northern Tradition: A Guide To The Gods, Lore, Rites And Celebrations From The Norse, German And Anglo-saxon Traditions by Galina Krasskova 
The Web of Life: A New Scientific Understanding of Living Systems by Fritjof Capra 

 

                             

 

 

"'Tis like the birthday of the world,
When earth was born in bloom;
The light is made of many dyes,
The air is all perfume:
There's crimson buds, and white and blue,
The very rainbow showers
Have turned to blossoms where they fell,
And sown the earth with flowers."
-  Thomas Hood

 

"In somer when the shawes be sheyne,
And leves be large and long,
Hit is full merry in feyre foreste
To here the foulys song.

To see the dere draw to the dale
And leve the hilles hee,
And shadow him in the leves grene
Under the green-wode tree.

Hit befell on Whitsontide
Early in a May mornyng,
The Sonne up faire can shyne,
And the briddis mery can syng."
- Anonymous, May in the Green Wode, 15h Century

 

"cottonwood fluff
stuck to dry weeds -
silent wind chimes"
-  Michael Garofalo, Cuttings

 

"You are as welcome as the flowers in May."
-  Charles Macklin

 

"The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day.
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You're one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
a cloud come over the sunlit arch,
And wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you're two months back in the middle of March."
-  Robert Frost 

 

"O day after day we can't help growing older.
Year after year spring can't help seeming younger.
Come let's enjoy our winecup today,
Nor pity the flowers fallen."
-  Wang Wei, On Parting with Spring 

 

"The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds.  For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May."
-  Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur 

 

'But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o' the May.'
-  Alfred Lord Tennyson

 

"May is a pious fraud of the almanac."
- James R. Lowell 

 

"The young May moon is beaming, love.
The glow-worm's lamp is gleaming, love.
How sweet to rove,
Through Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! -- the heavens look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways
To lengthen our days
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear!"
-  Thomas Moore, The Young May Moon 

 

"The trees are coming into leaf
Like something almost being said;
The recent buds relax and spread,
Their greenness is a kind of grief.

Is it that they are born again
And we grow old? No, they die too,
Their yearly trick of looking new
Is written down in rings of grain.

Yet still the unresting castles thresh
In fullgrown thickness every May.
Last year is dead, they seem to say,
Begin afresh, afresh, afresh."
-  Philip Larkin, The Trees

 

The Ultimate Guide to Homesteading: An Encyclopedia of Independent Living by Nichole Faires  
Homesteading: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More by Abigail Gehring  
The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre! by Carleen Madigan 
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre by Bret Markham  
Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens by Kathy Harrison 

 

                             

 

 

"Now every field is clothed with grass, and every tree with leaves; now the woods put forth their blossoms, and the year assumes its gay attire." 
-  Virgil

 

"What is now the foliage moving?
Air is still, and hush'd the breeze,
Sultriness, this fullness loving,
Through the thicket, from the trees.
Now the eye at once gleams brightly,
See! the infant band with mirth
Moves and dances nimbly, lightly,
As the morning gave it birth,
Flutt'ring two and two o'er earth."
-  Wolfgang Goethe, May 1815 

 

"There is no season such delight can bring,
As summer, autumn, winter and the spring."
-  William Browne

 

"What is so sweet and dear
As a prosperous morn in May,
The confident prime of the day,
And the dauntless youth of the year,
When nothing that asks for bliss,
Asking aright, is denied,
And half of the world a bridegroom is,
And half of the world a bride?"
-  William Watson, Ode in May, 1880

 

"The new earth quickens as you rise.
The May Queen is waiting.
Feel the pulsing ground call you to journey,
To know the depths of your desire.
The May Queen is waiting.
Moving through the night, the bright moon's flight.
In green and silver on the plain.
She waits for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting.
Her temper stings if you refuse to taste Her honey.
Surrender as enchantment brings
The first light of dawning.
Move with Her in sacred dance, through fear to feeling.
Bringing ecstasy to those who dare.
Living earth is breathing.
Loving through the night in the bright moonlight,
As seedlings open with the rain.
She'll long for you to return again.
Do not keep Her waiting."
-  Ruth Barren, The May Queen is Waiting

 

"I found a strawberry blossom in a rock.  I uprooted it rashly and felt as if I had been committing an outrage, so I planted it again."
-  Dorothy Wordsworth

 


Maypole dancing

 

"Sap which mounts, and flowers which thrust,
Your childhood is a bower:
Let my fingers wander in the moss
Where glows the rosebud
Let me among the clean grasses
Drink the drops of dew
Which sprinkle the tender flower"
-  Paul Verlaine, Spring 

 

"Spring - an experience in immortality."
-  Henry D. Thoreau  

 

"The year is ended, and it only adds to my age;
Spring has come, but I must take leave of my home.
Alas, that the trees in this easter garden,
Without me, will still bear flowers."
-  Su Ting, circa 700 CE 

 

"Well, spring sprang.  We've had our state of grace and our little gift of sanctioned madness, courtesy of Mother Nature.  Thanks, Gaia.  Much obliged.  I guess it's time to get back to that daily routine of living we like to call normal."
-  David Assael

 

"A little Madness in the Spring
Is wholesome even for the King."
-  Emily Dickinson 

 

 

"I think that no matter how old or infirm I may become, I will always plant a large garden in the spring.  Who can resist the feelings of hope and joy that one gets from participating in nature's rebirth?"
-  Edward Giobbi 

 

"The fields are snowbound no longer;
There are little blue lakes and flags of tenderest green.
The snow has been caught up into the sky--
So many white clouds--and the blue of the sky is cold.
Now the sun walks in the forest,
He touches the bows and stems with his golden fingers;
They shiver, and wake from slumber.
Over the barren branches he shakes his yellow curls.
Yet is the forest full of the sound of tears....
A wind dances over the fields.
Shrill and clear the sound of her waking laughter,
Yet the little blue lakes tremble
And the flags of tenderest green bend and quiver."
-   Katherine Mansifield, Very Early Spring

 

"It is the thirtieth of May,
the thirtieth of November,
a beginning or an end,
we are moving into the solstice
and there is so much here
I still do not understand."
-  Adrienne Rich, Toward the Solstice

 

"The air is like a butterfly
With frail blue wings.
The happy earth looks at the sky
And sings."
-  Joyce Kilmer, Spring

 

"The year's at the spring,
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hill-side's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in his Heaven—
All's right with the world!"
-  Robert Browning, The Year's at the Spring

 

"Oh! that we two were Maying
Down the stream of the soft spring breeze;
Like children with violets playing,
In the shade of the whispering trees."
-  Charles Kingsley

 

"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball.  I'll tell you what I do.  I stare out the window and wait for spring."
-  Rogers Hornsby

 

"The country ever has a lagging Spring,
Waiting for May to call its violets forth,
And June its roses--showers and sunshine bring,
Slowly, the deepening verdure o'er the earth;
To put their foliage out, the woods are slack,
And one by one the singing-birds come back.

Within the city's bounds the time of flowers
Comes earlier. Let a mild and sunny day,
Such as full often, for a few bright hours,
Breathes through the sky of March the airs of May,
Shine on our roofs and chase the wintry gloom--
And lo! our borders glow with sudden bloom."
-   William Cullen Bryant, Spring in Town, 1850

 

"Hoe while it is spring, and enjoy the best anticipations. 
It is not much matter if things do not turn out well."
-  Charles Dudley Warner

 

"Sweet May hath come to love us,
Flowers, trees, their blossoms don;
And through the blue heavens above us
The very clouds move on."
-  Heinrich Heine, Book of Songs

 

"Fast fading violets cover'd up in leaves;
And mid-May's eldest child,
The coming musk-rose, full of dewy wine,
The murmurous haunt of flies on summer eves."
-  John Keats  

 

"Now the bright morning-star, Day’s harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire!
Woods and groves are of thy dressing;
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long."
-  John Milton, Song on a May Morning, 1660 

 

"I sing of brooks, of blossoms, birds, and bowers:
Of April, May, or June, and July flowers.
I sing of Maypoles, Hock-carts, wassails, wakes,
Of bridegrooms, brides, and of the bridal cakes."
-  Robert Herrick, Hesperides, 1648 

 

"An optimist is the human personification of spring."
-  Susan J. Bissonette 

 

"The name for the month of 'May' has been believed to derive from 'Maia', who was revered as the Roman 'Goddess of Springtime, of Growth and Increase', and the mother of 'Mercury', the winged messenger of the Gods.  Yet this is disputed as before these deities featured in mythology the name 'Maius' or 'Magius', taken from the root 'Mag', meaning the 'Growing month' or 'Shooting month' was used."
May Mystical World Wide Web 

 

"Never yet was a springtime, when the buds forgot to bloom."
-  Margaret Elizabeth Sangster

 

Illustrated Guides to Food Plants 

Green Inheritance: Saving the Plants of the World by Anthony Huxley 
Medicinal Plants of the World by Ben Eric van Wyk 
Edible: An Illustrated Guide to the World's Food Plants by National Geographic 
Vegetables, Herbs and Fruit: An Illustrated Encyclopedia by Matthew Biggs 
Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide by Ben Eric van Wyk 
The New Oxford Book of Food Plants by John Vaughan 
The New Oxford Book of Food Plants by Elizabeth Schneider  

 

                                           

 

"The seasons are what a symphony ought to be:  four perfect movements in harmony with each other."
-  Arthur Rubenstein

 

"There is some speculation that Beltane and May Day is related to the ancient Roman festival of Floralia. According to the about.com article, this was "a six-day party in honor of Flora, the goddess of Spring and Flowers, the Floralia was a time of singing, dancing and feasting in the ancient capital." Dressed in bright colors in imitation of spring flowers, citizens would decorate the entire city with fresh blooms. "Hares and goats, symbols of fertility, would be let loose in gardens as protectors of Flora, and great singing and stomping would be heard in order to wake up Spring." Of course, dancing is a large part of May Day celebrations as well. Apparently, Flora was also the patron of prostitutes, and during this festival the Roman "working girls" participated enthusiastically, performing naked in theatres and taking part in gladiatorial events. The themes of fertility and sexuality are obviously still very much associated with Beltane and May Day amongst modern pagans... but let's look more closely at the ancient history of Beltane in the British Isles.  First of all, the origin of the name "Beltane" is disputed. The holiday was also known as "Roodmass" in England and "Walpurgisnacht" in Germany. Alternately spelled Bealtaine, Beltaine, and any number of Gaelic derived-spellings, it is also the Irish word for the month of May, and is said to mean anything from "Bel-fire" Feast of the god Bel" to "bright fire." Janet and Stewart Farrar, in Eight Sabbats for Witches offer an excellent tracing of the holiday's Irish roots, and particularly the European fire-god Belenus whom they believe this festival is named for (a name possible traced back to Baal, the bible's only pagan god, whose name simply means "Lord"). Ronald Hutton states that since the Celtic word "bel" means bright or fortunate, this is adequate to explain the translation as being "lucky fire" or "bright fire."
-  Peg Aloi, You Call It May Day, We Call It Beltane 

 

"When April steps aside for May,
Like diamonds all the rain-drops glisten;
Fresh violets open every day:
To some new bird each hour we listen."
-  Lucy Larcom

 

"Let us fill urns with rose-leaves in May
And hive the the trifty sweetness for December!"
-  Edward Bulwer Lytton

 

"The unmulched garden looks to me like some naked thing which for one reason or another would be better off with a few clothes on.
-  Ruth Stout

 

"May! Queen of blossoms,
   And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
   Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
   In the green bowers?"
-  Lord Edward Thurlow, May

 

“It's spring fever.... You don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!”
-  Mark Twain

 

"sultry evening
the curtain sways slightly
scent of gardenia "
-  Victor Gendrano 3

 

"For winter's rains and ruins are over, And all the season of snows and sins; The days dividing lover and lover, The light that loses, the night that wins; And time remembered is grief forgotten, And frosts are slain and flowers begotten, And in green underwood and cover Blossom by blossom the spring begins."
-  Algernon Charles Swinburne, 1890 

 

"We know the past but cannot control it.
We control the future but cannot know it."
-  Claude Shannon

 

"Winds of May, that dance on the sea,
Dancing a ring-around in glee
From furrow to furrow, while overhead
The foam flies up to be garlanded,
In silvery arches spanning the air,
Saw you my true love anywhere?
Welladay! Welladay!
For the winds of May!
Love is unhappy when love is away!"
-  James Joyce, Winds of May 

 

"In your neat garden iris grows 
Bright yellow, mauve - in stately rows. 
This one you’ve picked’s a lovely thing,
I know it brightens up our spring.
But in the forest, springtime’s child, 
A purple iris growing wild, 
Can melt my heart as spring melts snow, 
It’s spoilt me for the sort you grow!"
-  Jude, Wild Iris 

 

"Green is the fresh emblem of well founded hopes.  In blue the spirit can wander, but in green it can rest."
-  Mary Webb

 

100 Old Roses For The American Garden    
Taylor's Guide to Roses: How to Select and Grow 380 Roses    
Roses: Quotes, Links, Notes
Complete Guide to Roses    
Best Rose Guide: A Comprehensive Selection
Orchid Delirium by Harold Feinstein
The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant-by-Plant Guide: What to Do and When to Do It by Nancy J. Ondra
Indoor Plants: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Caring for Houseplants by Grahame Clarke
The Indoor Plant Bible: The Essential Guide to Choosing and Caring for Indoor, Greenhouse, and Patio  Plants

 

                             

 

 

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night." 
-  Rainer Maria Rilke

 

"The wood is decked in light green leaf.
The swallow twitters in delight.
The lonely vine sheds joyous tears
Of interwoven dew and light.

Spring weaves a gown of green to clad
The mountain height and wide-spread field.
O when wilt thou, my native land,
In all thy glory stand revealed?"
- Ilia Chavchavadze, Spring  

 

"Long stormy spring-time, wet contentious April, winter chilling the lap of very May; but at length the season of summer does come."
-  Thomas Carlyle

 

"Ye may trace my step o'er the wakening earth,
By the winds which tell of the violet's birth,
By the primrose-stars in the shadowy grass,
By the green leaves opening as I pass."
-  Felicia Hemans

 

"In the marvelous month of May
when all the buds were bursting,
then in my heart did
love arise.
In the marvelous month of May
when all the birds were singing,
then did I reveal to her
my yearning and longing."
-  Henirich Heine

 

"Ah! my heart is weary waiting,
Waiting for the May:
Waiting for the pleasant rambles
Where the fragrant hawthorn brambles,
Where the woodbine alternating,
Scent the dewy way;
Ah! my heart is weary, waiting,
Waiting for the May."
-  Denis Florence McCarthy, Summer Longings 

 

"Spring is God's way of saying, 'One more time!' "
-  Robert Orben  

 

"For, as when the red-cheeked, dancing girls, April and May, trip home to the wintry, misanthropic woods; even the barest, ruggedest, most thunder-cloven old oak will at least send forth some few green sprouts, to welcome such glad-hearted visitants . . ."
-  Herman Melville

 

Growth of the Soil by Knut Hamsun 
Secrets to Great Soil (Gardening Skills Illustrated) by Elizabeth Stell 
Teaming with Microbes: The Organic Gardener's Guide to the Soil Food Web by Jeff Lowenfels 
Life in the Soil: A Guide for Naturalists and Gardeners by James Nardi 
Soil (True Books: Natural Resources) by Christin Ditchfield 
Soil Science Simplified by Helmut Kohnke 
Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth by William Bryant Logan 

 

                                 

 

"Besides this May
We know
There is Another—
How fair
Our Speculations of the Foreigner!

Some know Him whom We knew—
Sweet Wonder—
A Nature be
Where Saints, and our plain going Neighbor
Keep May!"
-  Emily Dickinson, Besides This May, #977, 1875

 

"Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers."
-   Thomas Tusser, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, 1557 

 

"It was such a spring day as breathes into a man an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes him stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out his arms to embrace he knows not what."
-  John Galsworthy

 

"In springtime, love is carried on the breeze.  Watch out for flying passion or kisses whizzing by your head."
-  Emma Racine deFleur 

 

"The festival of Floralia began around the year 258 BCE. Pagan Romans celebrated for six days, from April 27th to May 3rd, honouring their Goddess of Spring and of Flowers, Flora. Flora, known as Chloris to the Greeks, was a beautiful and serene Goddess, the Queen of Spring. She was married to Zephyrus, the west wind, and her temple is in Aventine.  Floralia was a time a great merriment and rejoicing in ancient Rome. During the festival, Romans would cast off their habitual white robes for more colourful garments, especially green ones. They would also deck themselves and everything around them in flowers then engage in all sorts of activities. There would be feasting, singing, dancing, and gaming. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess Flora. Goats and hares meant to symbolize fertility were let loose in gardens and fields as protectors in Flora's honour. Singing filled the air and dancers stomped the ground to awaken nature and bring it back to life.  Ancient roman prostitutes in particular enjoyed this festival as they considered Flora their patron goddess. So Floralia was especially important to them. They participated in many events, from performing naked in the theatre to gladiatorial feats.  With the occupation of Rome in many countries of the western world at the time, especially in Britain and continental Europe, the festival of Floralia spread, with each country adding its own special touches to the festivities. And finally, Floralia became MayDay. Many countries choose a May Queen to preside over the day's activities and children dance around the Maypole. Some collect flowers on May Eve for the next day and some couples even make love in their garden to ensure fertility. One belief that has been passed on is that one should wash one's face with the dew from MayDay morn to obtain lasting beauty."
-  Linda Cassleman, Floralia  

 

"Now is the month of Maying,
When merry lads are playing.
Fa la la...
Each with his bonny lass,
upon the greeny grass.
Fa la la...
The Spring clad all in gladness,
Doth laugh at winter's sadness.
Fa la la..."
-  Thomas Morley, Now is the Month of Maying 

 

"If in my gardens only, nowhere else,
The flowers of spring should bloom,
Even the man who has neglected me
To gaze on them would surely come.
-  Izumi Shikibu

 

"The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
They call it 'easing the Spring.' "
-  Henry Reed, Lessons of the War

 

"Winter is many months of the year
But now at last Maytime is here;
And birds sing from a leafy screen
In the trees and hedgerow freshly green;
And the wood-anemone is out in the shade,
With its blushing petals which too soon fade;
Once more the bracken is unfurling there,
And bluebells gently perfume the damp air."
-  Veronica Ann Twells, Maytime

 

How to Support this Website

 

"The force of Spring -
mysterious,
fecund,
powerful beyond measure."
-  Michael Garofalo, Cuttings

 

"The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be."
-  Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme 

 

"Since thy return, through days and weeks
Of hope that grew by stealth,
How many wan and faded cheeks
Have kindled into health!
The Old, by thee revived, have said,
'Another year is ours;'
And wayworn Wanderers, poorly fed,
Have smiled upon thy flowers."
-  William Wordsworth, To May, 1830  

 

" `Tis May, the elfish maiden, the daughter of the Spring,
Upon whose birthday morning the birds delight to sing.
They would not sing one note for you, if you should so command,
Although you are a princess, a princess of the land."
-  Robert Fuller Murray, A May-Day Madrigal 

 

"Ask of Her, the mighty Mother.
Her reply puts this other
Question: What is Spring?-
Growth in every thing -

Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and green world all together,
Star-eyed strawberry breasted
Throstle above Her nested

Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within,
And bird and blossom swell
In sod or sheath or shell."
-  Gerard Manly Hopkins, The May Magnificant, 1888 

 

"The breeze and the dew make tranquil the clear dawn;
Behind the curtain there is one who alone is up betimes.
The orioles sing and the flowers smile -
Whose then, after all, is the Spring?"
-  Li Shang Yin

 

"Hebe's here, May is here!
The air is fresh and sunny;
And the miser-bees are busy
Hoarding golden honey."
-  Thomas Bailey Aldrich, May

 

"What is so sweet and dear
As a prosperous morn in May,
The confidant prime of the day,
And the dauntless youth of the year,
When nothing that asks for bliss,
Asking aright, is denied,
And half of the world a bridegroom is
And half of the world a bride?"
-  Sir William Watson, Ode in May

 

"It was an ideal spring day, a light blue sky, flecked with little fleecy white clouds drifting across from west to east.  The sun was shining very brightly, and yet there was an exhilarating nip in the air, which set an edge to a man's energy."
-  Sir Arthur Conan Doyle 

 

"O the green things growing, the green things growing,
The faint sweet smell of the green things growing!
I should like to live, whether I smile or grieve,
Just to watch the happy life of my green things growing."
-  Dinah Maria Mulock Craik 

 

"The seasons are shifting, The winter shades lifting,
The springtime is filling
Earth's children with mirth.
The daffodil yellow, The south wind so mellow,
The gentle rain falling,
Upon the green earth.
The song sparrow singing, New life quickly springing,
All nature is telling
A tale of rebirth:
The deep wells of being, Beyond each day's seeing,
O'er flowing with new Life,
Restoring the earth."
-  David Bumbaugh, Spring

 

Flesh to flesh
mating –
May-flies
-  Mike Garofalo, Cuttings

 

"Another May new buds and flowers shall bring:
Ah! why has happiness no second Spring?"
-  Charlotte Smith, Elegiac Sonnets

 

"A delicate fabric of bird song 
Floats in the air, 
The smell of wet wild earth 
Is everywhere. 
Oh I must pass nothing by 
Without loving it much, 
The raindrop try with my lips, 
The grass with my touch; 
For how can I be sure 
I shall see again 
The world on the first of May 
Shining after the rain?" 
-  Sara Teasdale, May Day 

 

"I thought that spring must last forevermore;
For I was young and loved, and it was May." 
-  Vera Brittain, May Morning  

 

"Every spring is the only spring - a perpetual astonishment."
-  Ellis Peters 

 

The Dry Gardening Handbook: Plants and Practices for a Changing Climate by Oliver Flippi
Drought Resistant Planting by Beth Chatto 
Xeriscape Handbook: A How-to Guide to Natural Resource-Wise Gardening by Gale Weinstein
The Low-Water Flower Gardener by Eric Johnson
Western Landscaping Book by Kathleen Bresnel
All About Dry Climate Gardening by Ortho 
Plants For Dry Climates: How To Select, Grow, And Enjoy  by Mary Duffield 
Landscape Plants For Dry Regions: More Than 600 Species From Around The World by Warren Jones 
Plants and Landscapes for Summer-Dry Climates of the San Francisco Bay Region  

 

                             

 

 

"Chime out, thou little song of Spring,
Float in the blue skies ravishing.
Thy song-of-life a joy doth bring
That's sweet, albeit fleeting.
Float on the Spring-winds e'en to my home:
And when thou to a rose shalt come
That hath begun to show her bloom,
Say, I send her greeting!"
-  Sidney Lanier, Spring Greeting, 1860 

 

"Spring, the sweet spring, is the year's pleasant king,
Then blooms each thing, then maids dance in a ring,
Cold doth not sting, the pretty birds do sing:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!

The palm and May make country houses gay,
Lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day,
And we hear aye birds tune this merry lay:
Cuckoo, jug-jug, pu-we, to-witta-woo!"
-  Thomas Nashe, Spring the Sweet Spring, 1590 

 

"Beltane is the anglicized spelling of Bealtaine or Bealltainn the Gaelic names for either the month of May or the festival that takes place on the first day of May.  In Irish Gaelic the month is known as Bealtaine and the festival as Lá Bealtaine ('day of Bealtaine' or, 'May Day'). In Scottish Gaelic the month is known as either an Cèitean or a' Mhàigh and the festival is known as Latha Bealltainn or simply Bealltainn.  As an ancient Gaelic festival, Bealtaine was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man.  There were similar festivals held at the same time in the other Celtic countries of Wales, Brittany and Cornwall.  Bealtaine and Samhain were the leading terminal dates of the civil year in Ireland though the latter festival was the most important.  The festival survives in folkloric practices in the Celtic Nations and the diaspora, and has experienced a degree of revival in recent decades.  For the Celts, Beltane marked the beginning of the pastoral summer season when the herds of livestock were driven out to the summer pastures and mountain grazing lands.  Due to the change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, Bealltainn in Scotland was commonly celebrated on the 15th of May while in Ireland Sean Bhealtain / "Old May" began about the night of the 11th of May.  The lighting of bonfires on Oidhche Bhealtaine ('the eve of Bealtaine') on mountains and hills of ritual and political significance was one of the main activities of the festival.   In modern Scottish Gaelic, Latha Buidhe Bealtuinn ('the yellow day of Bealltain') is used to describe the first day of May.  This term Lá Buidhe Bealtaine is also used in Irish and is translated as 'Bright May Day'.  In Ireland it is referred to in a common folk tale as Luan Lae Bealtaine; the first day of the week (Monday/Luan) is added to emphasize the first day of summer.  In ancient Ireland the main Bealtaine fire was held on the central hill of Uisneach 'the navel of Ireland', one of the ritual centres of the country, which is located in what is now County Westmeath.  In Ireland the lighting of bonfires on Oidhche Bhealtaine seems only to have survived to the present day in County Limerick, especially in Limerick itself, as their yearly bonfire night, though some cultural groups have expressed an interest in reviving the custom at Uisneach and perhaps at the Hill of Tara.  The lighting of a community Bealtaine fire from which individual hearth fires are then relit is also observed in modern times in some parts of the Celtic diaspora and by some Neopagan groups, though in the majority of these cases this practice is a cultural revival rather than an unbroken survival of the ancient tradition."
Beltane - Wikipedia 

 

"The May-pole is up,
Now give me the cup;
I'll drink to the garlands around it;
But first unto those
Whose hands did compose
The glory of flowers that crown'd it."
-  Robert Herrick, The Maypole, 1660 

 

Writing and Being: Embracing Your Life Through Creative Journaling   
Keeping a Nature Journal: Discover a Whole New Way of Seeing the World Around You
Journal to the Self: Twenty-Two Paths to Personal Growth    
How to Keep a Naturalist's Notebook  
Visual Journaling: Going Deeper than Words  
Nature Journaling: Learning to Observe and Connect with the World Around You
Writing Down Your Soul: How to Activate and Listen to the Extraordinary Voice Within  
Mixed-Media Nature Journals: New Techniques for Exploring Nature, Life, and Memories
Creative Wildfire: An Introduction to Art Journaling - Basics and Beyond  
Inner Journeying Through Art-Journaling: Learning to See And Record Your Life As a Work of Art  

 

                             

 

 

"To the garden of the world anew descending,
Potent mates, daughters, sons, preluding,
The love, the life of their bodies, meaning and being,
Curious here behold my resurrection after slumber,
The revolving cycles in their wide sweep having brought me again,
amorous, mature, all beautiful to me, all wondrous,
My limbs and the quivering fire that ever plays through them, for reasons, most wondrous,
Existing I peer and penetrate still,
Content with the present, content with the past,
By my side or back of me Eve following,
Or in front, and I following her just the same." 
-  Walt Whitman, To the Garden of the World

 

"Worschippe ye that loveris bene this May,
For of your blisse the Kalendis are begonne,
And sing with us, Away, Winter, away!
Cum, Somer, cum, the suete sesoun and sonne!
Awake for schame! that have your hevynnis wonne,
And amorously lift up your hedis all,
Thank Lufe that list you to his merci call!"
-  King James I, Spring Song of the Birds 

 

"At Christmas, I no more desire a rose
Than wish a snow in May's newfangled mirth;
But like each thing that in season grows."
-  William Shakespeare

 

"This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes.

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze.

And I, what fountain of fire am I among
This leaping combustion of spring? My spirit is tossed
About like a shadow buffeted in the throng
Of flames, a shadow that’s gone astray, and is lost."
-  D. H. Lawrence, The Enkindled Spring, 1916

 

"Spring in verses,
Verses in spring."
-  Violet Gartenlicht

 

"Every year, back comes Spring, with nasty little birds yapping their fool heads off and the ground all mucked up with plants."
-  Dorothy Parker 

 

"Earth teach me to forget myself as melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me resignation as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me courage as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me regeneration as the seed which rises in the spring. "
-  William Alexander

 

"Standing still in the circle of trees, in the sacred space,
one wet and chilly May morn,
feet rooted, turtle toes clawing the earth, sunk deeply down;
twisted like a dragon, alert, poised, ready to fly;
settled like a bear, strong, full of power, gathering;
looking through the tiger's eye, mind-intent, penetrating;
embracing the World of Body, Mind, and Spirit,
as ancient as Now, the Three Realms, all still, all one.

From the edge, the cosmic circle opened,
Chang San-Feng slipped inside, smiling,
he stroked his long black beard and spoke softly,
"Ah, another old man standing so still in San Ti Shi.
Continue, my friend, stand in peace, touch the mind. 
Xuan Wu guards the Gate, the Turtle chants, the Snake rises, and
The subtle winds of understanding blow down the centuries.
When still, soar like the Black Dragon; when moving, walk like the Mountain.
Tame the Tiger within, ride the Tiger to the temple, and roar in silence.
Awaken like the Bear from the winter of the soul, and rise like a Man.
Feel the vital energies from bone to brain,
Sense the Great Tao before you Now,
Drop delusions, enter the Gate of Mystery,
Embrace the Center, Empty, unattached, ready to be filled
With boundless beauty, everything There, marvelous beyond words.

The cottonwood leaves spoke with the wind,
the sun rose over the shadows,
my legs shook a little;
the cosmic circle trembled,
Xuan Wu's sword flashed in the sun,
Master Chang disappeared in the trees."
-  Mike Garofalo, Above the Fog visits from Master Chang San Feng

 

"Also known as May Eve, May Day, and Walpurgis Night, happens at the beginning of May.  It celebrates the height of Spring and the flowering of life.  The Goddess manifests as the May Queen and Flora.  The God emerges as the May King and Jack in the Green.  The danced Maypole represents Their unity, with the pole itself being the God and the ribbons that encompass it, the Goddess.  Colors are the Rainbow spectrum. Beltane is a festival of flowers, fertility, sensuality, and delight."
-  Selena Fox, Beltane: Celebrating the Seasons 

 

"Some will tell you crocuses are heralds true of spring 
Others say that tulips showing buds are just the thing 
Point to peonies, say when magnolia blossoms show 
I look forward to the sight of other flowers though 
Cultivate your roses, grow your orchids in the dark 
Plant your posies row on row and stink up the whole park 
The flower that's my favourite kind is found throughout the land 
A wilting, yellow dandelion, clutched in a grubby hand."
-  Larry Tilander, Springtime of My Soul 

 

"When May, with cowslip-braided locks,
Walks through the land in green attire.
And burns in meadow-grass the phlox
His torch of purple fire:
And when the punctual May arrives,
With cowslip-garland on her brow,
We know what once she gave our lives,
And cannot give us now!"
-  Bayard Taylor, The Lost May

 

"How fair doth Nature
Appear again!
How bright the sunbeams!
How smiles the plain!
The flow'rs are bursting
From ev'ry bough,
And thousand voices
Each bush yields now.
And joy and gladness
Fill ev'ry breast!
Oh earth!--oh sunlight!
Oh rapture blest!
Oh love! oh loved one!"
-  Goethe, May Song

 

"On the first day of May the people of the crofter townland are up betimes and busy as bees about to swarm.  This is the day of migrating, bho baile gu beinn (from townland to moorland), from the winter homestead to the summer sheiling.  The summer of their joy is come, the summer of the sheiling, the song, the pipe and the dance, when the people ascend the hill to the clustered bothies, overlooking the distant sea from among the fronded ferns and fragrant heather, where neighbour meets neighbour, and lover meets lover."
-  Alexander Carmichael, 1845 

 

"It was the month of May, the month when the foliage of herbs and trees is most freshly green, when buds ripened and blossoms appear in their fragrance and loveliness. And the month when lovers, subject to the same force which reawakens the plants, feel their hearts open again, recall past trysts and past vows, and moments of tenderness, and yearn for a renewal of the magical awareness which is love."
-  Sir Thomas Malory, La Morte d'Arthur 

 

The Art of Living: A Guide to Contentment, Joy and Fulfillment by the Dali Lama 
Choosing Simplicity: Real People Finding Peace and Fulfillment in a Complex World by Linda Pierce 
Less is More: Embracing Simplicity for a Healthy Planet, a Caring Economy and Lasting Happiness by Cecile Andrews 
Secrets of Simplicity  by Mary Carlomagno 
The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life by Francine Jay 
The Simple Living Guide: A Sourcebook for Less Stressful, More Joyful Living by Janet Luhrs 
Simplify Your Life: 100 Ways to Slow Down and Enjoy the Things That Really Matter by Elaine St. James 

 

                               

 

"Poetry is the silence and speech between a wet struggling root of a flower and a sunlit blossom of that flower." 
-  Carl Sandburg 

 

"What a time herbs and weeds, and such things could talk,
A man in his garden one day did walk,
Spying a nettle green (as th'emeraude) spread
in a bed of roses like the ruby red.
Between which two colors he thought, but his eye,
The green nettle did the red rose beautify.
"How be it," he asked the nettle, "what thing
Made him so pert?  So nigh the Rose to Spring."
-  John Heywood, A Rose and a Nettle 

 

"And what if thou, sweet May, hast known
Mishap by worm and blight;
If expectations newly blown
Have perished in thy sight;
If loves and joys, while up they sprung,
Were caught as in a snare;
Such is the lot of all the young,
However bright and fair."
-  William Wordsworth, To May, 1840 

 

"All furnished, all in arms;
All plum'd like estridges that with the wind
Bated like eagles having lately bathed;
Glittering in golden coats like images;
As full of spirit as the month of May
And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer;
Wanton as youthful goats, wild as young bulls."
-  William Shakespeare, King Henry the Fourth, Part I

 

"Ah! Spring is here. The rabbits quit their dens,
The dormant grass begins once more to grow.
The trees release their airborne allergens.
It's time to tune the Toro and to mow,
To fertilize and lime and thatch and seed
As-groveling on dirty, servile knees—
You pluck the dreaded dandelion weed
And rub your itching eyes and start to sneeze.
Wherever grass encroaches, you must edge,
And don't forget to stir the compost heap
And trim the junipers' unruly hedge,
While forfeiting a needed hour of sleep.
Those poets penning praise to spring and tillage
Are domiciled in lofts in Greenwich Village."
-  Bob McKenty, A Sonnet for Spring 

 

The Language of Spring: Poems for the Season of Renewal  Edited by Robert Atwan
Frost of Spring Green: A Collection of Poetry By Karen Matsuko Hood
No Nature: New and Selected Poems by Gary Snyder 
Garden Poems: Pocket Poets Edited by Jane Hollander    
Spring Garden: New and Selected Poems by Fred Chappell 
The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson
The Four Seasons: Poems edited by J. D. McClatchy  
The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry
Walt Whitman: Leaves of Grass: The Complete 1855 and 1891-92 Editions

 

                               

 

 

"I cannot tell you how it was,
But this I know: it came to pass
Upon a bright and sunny day
When May was young; ah, pleasant May!
As yet the poppies were not born
Between the blades of tender corn;
The last egg had not hatched as yet,
Nor any bird foregone its mate.

I cannot tell you what it was,
But this I know: it did but pass.
It passed away with sunny May,
Like all sweet things it passed away,
And left me old, and cold, and gray."
-  Christina Georgina Rossetti, May, 1880

 

"The folk celebrations of early May in Europe began as a celebration of life and fertility, the time for planting of crops and vegetable gardens, and for the regeneration of life that comes with increased sunlight.  In fact, Beltane is derived from the Celtic word for "brilliant fire."   Many of the so-called folk or pagan festivals and days of observance were tied to the solar and lunar cycles and the great cycles of life.  By the start of May, most trees are in full leaf, many Spring flowers are in bloom and the Earth is brimming with both plant and animal life taking advantage of the high sun levels and ever warmer temperatures.  The longer daylight hours allow folks to take advantage of the natural light for both work and play."
-  The Weather Doctor, May Day

 

"The maypole is a tall wooden pole (traditionally of maple (Acer), hawthorn or birch), sometimes erected with several long coloured ribbons suspended from the top, festooned with flowers, draped in greenery and strapped with large circular wreaths, depending on local and regional variances. What is often thought of as the "traditional" English/British maypole (a somewhat shorter, plainer version of the Scandinavian pole with ribbons tied at the top and hanging to the ground) is a relatively recent development of the tradition and is probably derived from the picturesque, Italianate dances performed in mid-19th century theatricals. It is usually this shorter, plainer maypole that people (usually school children) perform dances around, weaving the ribbons in and out to create striking patterns.  With roots in Germanic paganism, the maypole traditionally appears in most Germanic countries, Germanic country-bordering and countries invaded by Germanic tribes after the fall of the Roman Empire."
Maypole - Wikipedia

 

"The chorus-ending from Aristophanes, raised every night from every ditch that drains into the Mediterranean, hoarse and primeval as the raven's croak, is one of the grandest tunes to walk by.  Or on a night in May, one can walk through the too rare Italian forests for an hour on end and never be out of hearing of the nightingale's song."
-  George Macaulay Trevelyan, Walking 

 

"Spring is like a perhaps hand
(which comes carefully
out of Nowhere) arranging
a window, into which people look (while
people stare
arranging and changing placing
carefully there a strange
thing and a known thing here) and

changing everything carefully

spring is like a perhaps
Hand in a window
(carefully to
and fro moving New and
Old things, while
people stare carefully
moving a perhaps
fraction of flower here placing
an inch of air there) and

without breaking anything."
-  E. E. Cummings, Spring Is Like a Perhaps Hand 

 

"Prithee, smite the poet in the eye when he would sing to you praises of the month of May.  It is a month presided over by the spirits of mischief and madness.  Pixies and flibbertigibbets haunt the budding woods: Puck and his train of midgets are busy in town and country.  In May, nature holds up at us a chiding finger, bidding us remember that we are not gods, but over conceited members of her own great family.  She reminds us that we are brothers to the chowder-doomed clam and the donkey; lineal scions of the pansy and the chimpanzee, and but cousins-german to the cooing doves, the quacking ducks and the housemaids and policemen in the parks."
-  O' Henry, The Month of May 

 

"Another widespread belief suggests that trees are inhabited by guardian spirits, which control the natural forces responsible for weather conditions, that can cause the crops to flourish or to fail. Since fertilizing rain is paramount to ensuring the fruitfulness of the earth, fertility festivals centered on trees were usually held in the spring or prior to the rainy season. Even in Europe, until quite recently such festivities were quite common and can still be found today as folkloric remnants in many rural areas. The most commonly celebrated fertility festival is known as Beltain or May Day.  When the sap is rising and the buds are swelling and nature is awakening from her winter sleep, the air is humming with energy and activity. It is as though the Goddess Flora twirls and whirls through the countryside and where she dances her footprints turn to flowers, and bees, birds and butterflies buzz about her like twinkling stars. This sensual season culminates in May, when all of nature seems to be intoxicated with the spirit of love: birds and animals are mating, and bees and butterflies are getting drunk on nectarous flower juice. The exuberance and joy of life is tangibly permeating the air and even humans are touched by the juicy flow of nature's libido."
Kat Morgenstern

 

 

 

"It's May! It's May!
The lusty month of May!...
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone takes,
Ev'ryone breaks.
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes!
The lusty month of May!"
-   Lerner and Lowe

 

Lines of baled hay
yellowing in the sunshine –
dry May day.
-   Mike Garofalo, Cuttings

 

"The fair maid who, the first of May
Goes to the fields at break of day
And washes the dew from the hawthorn tree
Will ever after handsome be."
-  Mother Goose Nursery Rhyme

 

 

 

"Flora, , Goddess of Spring, Flowers, and youthful pleasures The Queen of Spring is a beautiful and serene Goddess. She was married to Zephyrus, the west wind. Flora is the twin sister to Faunus, the god of wild creatures, originally was called Sabine was also known as Chloris to the Greeks.  It was a celebration of Nature in full blossom, a carnival of sexual fun and liberty and marked by the consumption of oceans of grog. Beans and other seeds were planted, representing fecundity. Originally a movable feast controlled by the condition of the crops and flowers, it’s believed to have been instituted in 238 BCE under the command of an oracle in the Sibylline books, with the purpose of gaining from the goddess the protection of the blossoms. Games were instituted in honour of Flora at that time, but were soon discontinued before being restored in 173 BCE in the consulship of L Postumius Albinus and M Popilius Laenas as a six-day festival, after storms had destroyed crops and vines.  Offerings of milk and honey were made on this day and the surrounding five days, which comprise the Florifertum. The city would have been decorated in flowers, and the people would wear floral wreaths or flowers in their hair. Day and night there were games, pantomimes, theatre and stripteases with people of all classes in their brightest clothes. Goats and hares were let loose as they represented fertility. Gift-giving for the season included small vegetables as tokens of sex and fertility."
May Day and the Roman Floralia

 

"Though a country be sundered, hills and rivers endure;
And spring comes green again to trees and grasses
Where petals have been shed like tears
And lonely birds have sung their grief.
...After the war-fires of three months,
One message from home is worth a ton of gold.
...I stroke my white hair. It has grown too thin
To hold the hairpins any more."
-  Tu Fu, A Spring View, 750 CE 

 

Perennials for Every Purpose: Choose the Right Plants for Your Conditions, Your Garden, and Your Taste by Larry Hodgson
Grasses: Versatile Partners for Uncommon Garden Design Nancy J. Ondra
Designer Plant Combinations: 105 Stunning Gardens Using Six Plants or Fewer by Scott Calhoun
The Perennial Care Manual: A Plant-by-Plant Guide: What to Do and When to Do It by Nancy J. Ondra
Perennial Combinations: Stunning Combinations That Make Your Garden Look Fantastic Right from the Start by C. Colston Burrell
The Well-Tended Perennial Garden: Planting and Pruning Techniques by Tracy DiSabato-Aust 

 

                      

 

 

"May is named for Maia Majestas, the Roman goddess of spring who encourages crops to grow. She is the chief goddess of the Seven Sisters or Pleiades. She can be equated with the Irish Queen Medb or Celtic Meave.  Hawthorm, her sacred plant, blossoms during this month. Artemis, Diana, Faunus, Flora, and Pan also have dominion over this month. The Anglo-Saxons called this month Thrimilcmonath, "thrice-milk month." In England, May was also called Sproutkale. Winnemanoth, "joy month," was the Frankish name, and the Asatru name is Merrymoon. The Irish call May Bealtaine or an Ceitean, the first weather of summer. The two weeks before Bealtaine is ceitean earrach, spring May-time, and the two weeks after Bealtaine is ceitean samhradh, summer May-time. Bealtaine, also associated the God Bel, means 'the fires of Bel'.  The first Full Moon of May is called the Flower Moon. It shares the names (Corn) Planting Moon, Hare Moon, Pink Moon, and Green Grass Moon with April. The May moon is also the Bright Moon, Dryad Moon, Milk Moon, the Moon When the Pony Sheds, the Frogs Return Moon, and Sproutkale. The sun passes from Taurus to Gemini around May 21st. Those born in May have the lilly of the valley for their birth flower. The stone for the month of May, and for Taurus, is the emerald, though agate, chalcedony, and carnelian are sometimes mentioned for May instead, while Gemini lays claim to agate, particularly moss agate, and pearl. Aquamarine, lapis lazuli, kunzite, rose quartz, and sapphire are associated with Taurus, and chrysoprase, sapphire, and topaz are connected to Gemini."
May - Angelfire

 

"Queer things happen in the garden in May.  Little faces forgotten appear, and plants thought to be dead suddenly wave a green hand to confound you." 
-  W. E . Johns 

 

"Now the bright morning star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the east, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.
Hail, bounteous May, that doth inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing,
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee, and wish thee long."
-  John Milton, Song on a May Morning

 

"Round a turn of the Qin Fortress winds the Wei River,
And Yellow Mountain foot-hills enclose the Court of China;
Past the South Gate willows comes the Car of Many Bells
On the upper Palace-Garden Road-a solid length of blossom;
A Forbidden City roof holds two phoenixes in cloud;
The foliage of spring shelters multitudes from rain;
And now, when the heavens are propitious for action,
Here is our Emperor ready-no wasteful wanderer."
-  Wang Wei, Looking Down in a Spring Rain 

 

"May crowning is a traditional Roman Catholic ritual that occurs in the month of May of every year. In some countries, it takes place on or about May 1, however, in many United States Catholic parishes, it takes place on Mother's Day. An image or likeness of the Blessed Virgin Mary is ceremonially crowned to signify her as Queen of Heaven and the Mother of God. The practice is also maintained in the same fashion by some Anglo Catholic Anglicans.  A number of traditions link the month of May to Mary. In ancient Greece, May was the month dedicated to Artemis and some people allege that the reverence for this goddess was transferred to Mary with the Christianization of Europe. Later, the Coronation of the Virgin became a popular subject in art.  Alfonso X, king of Castile wrote in his "Cantigas de Santa Maria" about the special honoring of Mary during specific dates in May. Eventually, the entire month was filled with special observances and devotions to Mary. The tradition of honoring Mary in a month-long May devotion is believed to have originated in Italy, but spread eventually around the Roman Catholic world in the 19th Century."
May Crowning - Wikipedia 

 

"Spring is a true reconstructionist."
-  Henry Timrod

 

"Cherry-ripe, ripe, ripe, I cry,
Full and fair ones; come and buy.
If so be you ask me where
They do grow, I answer: There,
Where my Julia's lips do smile;
There's the land, or cherry-isle,
Whose plantations fully show
All the year where cherries grow."
-  Robert Herrick, Cherry Ripe, 1648

 

"I saw the evening sun
And thought of what I've done to get to here
And I shed a tear
It's silly, marking time
A man who's in his prime
And I feel the sting
One day I may believe in Spring."
-  Gavin Regnart, One Day I May Believe in Spring 

 

In Nature's Honor: Myths And Rituals Celebrating The Earth by Patricia Montley
Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays by Laurie Cabot 
Earth Bound: Daily Meditations for All Seasons by Brian Nelson
Sacred Fire, Holy Well: A Druid's Grimoire by Ian Corrigan
The Sacred Depths of Nature by Urusla Goodenough
Paths in the Valley Blog  
The Best of Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations Magazine for Children, Grades 1-3
Creating Circles & Ceremonies: Rituals for All Seasons And Reasons by Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart     

 

                                

 

 

"Good weather all the week, but come the weekend the weather stinks. 
Springtime for birth, Summertime for growth; and all Seasons for dying.
Ripening grapes in the summer sun - reason enough to plod ahead. 
Springtime flows in our veins.  
Beauty is the Mistress, the gardener Her salve. 
A soul is colored Spring green.  
Complexity is closer to the truth. 
All metaphors aside - only living beings rise up in the Springtime; dead beings stay quite lie down dead. 
Winter does not turn into Summer; ash does not turn into firewood - on the chopping block of time. 
Fresh fruit from the tree - sweet summertime! 
Gardens are demanding pets. 
Shade was the first shelter. 
When the Divine knocks, don't send a prophet to the door. 
One spring and one summer to know life's hope; one autumn and one winter to know life's fate. 
Somehow, someway, everything gets eaten up, someday. 
Relax and be still around the bees. 
Paradise and shade are close relatives on a summer day. 
Absolutes squirm beneath realities. 
The spiders, grasshoppers, mantis, and moth larva are all back:  the summer crowd has returned!
To garden is to open your heart to the sky.
Dirty fingernails and a calloused palm precede a Green Thumb." 
-  Michael P. Garofalo, Pulling Onions

 

"It's May! It's May! 
The lusty month of May!
Those dreary vows that ev'ryone makes, 
Ev'ryone breaks. 
Ev'ryone makes divine mistakes! 
The lusty month of May!"
-  Lerner and Lowe 

 

"You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep spring from coming. "
-  Pablo Neruda

 

 

  
Months and Seasons
Quotes, Poems, Sayings, Verses, Lore, Myths, Holidays
Celebrations, Folklore, Reading, Links, Quotations
Information, Weather, Gardening Chores
 

Winter

Spring

Summer

Fall

January

April

July

October

February

May

August

November

March

June

September

December 

 

 

"Nothing is so beautiful as spring—
When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;
Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush
Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring
The ear, it strikes like lightning to hear him sing;
The glassy pear tree leaves and blooms, they brush
The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush
With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?
A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning
In Eden garden.—Have, get, before it cloy,
Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,
Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,
Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.
-  Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring, 1918  

 

"When we reach the first of May, Earth has moved along its orbit to where the Northern Hemisphere is receiving an ever increasing flow of energy as each day is longer than the one before. The Sun is climbing in our sky, and everything in the Northern Hemisphere responds to its light. Indeed, we best be careful not to overdose on its luminosity that can burn and even cause cancerous effects that doctors warn about. We have reached the cross-quarter date that some past ages have considered to be the start of summer.  In Celtic tradition, the night of April 30 was thought of as the darkest of the year, when witches flew to frighten, spawning evil throughout the land. In response, people pounded on kettles, slammed doors, cracked whips, rang church bells and made all the noise they could to scare off the corruption they imagined to be moving on the moist air. They lit bonfires and torches and witch- proofed their houses with spring boughs. Such vigils were kept throughout the night until the rising of the May-dawn.  Beltane--the word means "brilliant fire" in reference to the Sun--became more commonly known as May Day. People danced around bonfires on hilltops, moving in a clockwise, or "sunwise" direction. Later generations would dance around a pole instead of a fire.  In the British Isles young men and maidens would go a-Maying on the eve of May Day, spending all night in the forests to return at day-break, "bringing in the May," adorning villages with spring boughs and blossoms. They might carry with them the stem of a tree, place it in the village, and decorate it with flowers, vines and ribbons. In later generations, people would dance around this phallic of the earth as participants in the fertility of crops, flocks, herds and humans. The celebration was for regeneration of life that comes with increased sunlight that is so noticeable when we reach the junction between vernal equinox and summer solstice."
-  Von Del Chamberlain, Cross Quarter May Day  

 

"When loud by landside streamlets gush,
And clear in the greenwood quires the thrush,
With sun on the meadows
And songs in the shadows
Comes again to me
The gift of the tongues of the lea,
The gift of the tongues of meadows.
So when the earth is alive with gods,
And the lusty ploughman breaks the sod,
And the grass sings in the meadows,
And the flowers smile in the shadows,
Sits my heart at ease,
Hearing the song of the leas,
Singing the songs of the meadows."
-  Robert Louis Stevenson, Spring Carol, 1918

 

"Violets in May
believe me when I say
your eyes are violet blue,
your lips alluring too.
Life can be so swell
picking violets in a dell.
Life can be so great
picking violets with your mate."
-  William Tate Bond, Violets in May 

 

"Ah, who will tell me, in these leaden days,
Why the sweet Spring delays,
And where she hides, -- the dear desire
Of every heart that longs
For bloom, and fragrance, and the ruby fire
Of maple-buds along the misty hills,
And that immortal call which fills
The waiting wood with songs?
The snow-drops came so long ago,
It seemed that Spring was near!
But then returned the snow
With biting winds, and all the earth grew sere,
And sullen clouds drooped low
To veil the sadness of a hope deferred:
Then rain, rain, rain, incessant rain
Beat on the window-pane,
Through which I watched the solitary bird
That braved the tempest, buffeted and tossed,
With rumpled feathers, down the wind again."
-  Henry Van Dyke, Late Spring

 

"With the coming of spring, I am calm again. "
-  Gustav Mahler

 

"Among the changing months, May stands confest
The sweetest, and in fairest colors dressed."
-  James Thomson, On May

 

The Green Man (Personification of the Powers of Spring and Summer): Lore, Quotes, Bibliography, Customs, Poetry. 
The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Goddess by Starhawk
Seasonal Gifts & Festive Celebrations (Gifts from Nature) by Sarah Ainley
Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways by Edain McCoy.  Practical suggestions for seasonal holiday celebrations. 
The Best of Holidays and Seasonal Celebrations Magazines, Ages 3-6   Nice crafts and activities. 
Ostara: Customs, Spells & Rituals for the Rites of Spring By Edain McCoy
Easter, Passover, and Other Spring Festivals by Ann Morrill 
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer
Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration by Raven Grimassi
In Celebration of Spring: A Book of Seasonal Indulgences by Helen Thompson 
Spring: Recipes Inspired by Nature's Bounty (Williams-Sonoma Seasonal Celebration) by Joanne Weir
The Spring Equinox: Celebrating the Greening of the Earth by Ellen Jackson
Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon by Ashleen O'Gaea 

 

                      

 

 

"In Roman mythology, Flora was a goddess of flowers and the season of spring.  While she was otherwise a relatively minor figure in Roman mythology, being one among several fertility goddesses, her association with the spring gave her particular importance at the coming of springtime. Her festival, the Floralia, was held in April or early May and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers.  Her Greek equivalent was Chloris.  Flora was married to Favonius, the wind god, and her companion was Hercules.  Due to her association with plants, her name in modern English also means plant life.  Flora achieved more prominence in the neo-pagan revival of Antiquity among Renaissance humanists than she had ever enjoyed in ancient Rome."
Flora (Mythology) - Wikipedia

 



Detail of Flora from
Primavera by Botticelli, c. 1482

 

"In later times Flora became the Goddess of all flowering plants, including the ornamental varieties.  Her name is related to Latin floris, meaning naturally enough "a flower," with the additional meaning of "[something] in its prime"; other related words have meanings like "prospering", "flourishing", "abounding", and "fresh or blooming".  In one story, Flora was said to have provided Juno with a magic flower that would allow Her to conceive with no help from a man; from this virgin-birth Mars was born.  A late tale calls Flora a courtesan and gives Her a story similar to Acca Larentia: Flora was said to have made a fortune as a courtesan, which She bequeathed to Rome upon Her death, and for which She was honored with the festival of the Floralia.  As Flora was originally a Sabine Goddess, and as the Sabines were a neighboring tribe whom the Romans conquered and assimilated into Rome, perhaps this is an acknowledgement of the land so acquired, put into legendary terms."
Flora - Roman Goddess 

 

 



Flora, By Evelyn De Morgan, 1894

 

"I [Flora/Chloris] enjoy perpetual spring: the year always shines, trees are leafing, the solid always fodders. I have a fruitful garden in my dowered fields, fanned by breezes, fed by limpid fountains. My husband filled it with well-bred flowers, saying: ‘Have jurisdiction of the flower, goddess.’ I often wanted to number the colors displayed, but could not: their abundance defied measure. As soon as the dewy frost is cast from the leaves and sunbeams warm the dappled blossom, the Horae (Seasons) assemble, hitch up their colored dresses and collect these gifts of mine in light tubs. Suddenly the Charites (Graces) burst in, and weave chaplets and crowns to entwine the hair of gods. I first scattered new seed across countless nations; earth was formerly a single colour. I first made a flower from Therapnean blood [Hyakinthos the hyacinth], and its petal still inscribes the lament. You, too, narcissus, have a name in tended gardens, unhappy in your undivided self. Why mention Crocus, Attis or Cinyras’ son, from whose wounds I made a tribute soar?"
-  Ovid, Fasti 5.193 

 

 



Flora
by William Morris

 

The above tapestry was designed by William Morris (1834 - 1896) and Edward Burne-Jones (1833 - 1898) in 1885. It depicts Flora, the goddess of abundance, who personifies summer, standing barefoot in flowing garments with a wreath in her hair. She holds fresh flowers in her hand, and we can see the intricate floral background, inspired by the Medieval decorative technique known as Mille Fleurs (thousand flowers), demonstrating the artists' admiration for pre-Renaissance art. The piece is also inscribed with the following verse, beautifully rendered in Gothic type:

"I am the handmaid of the Earth
I broider fair her glorious gown;
Deck her on her days of mirth
with many a garland of renown.
And while the earth's little ones are fain
And play about the mother's hem,
I scatter every gift I gain
From sun and wind to gladden them."

 

"The Floralia, also known as the Florifertum, was an ancient Roman festival dedicated to the goddess Flora. It was held on April 27 to May 3 and symbolized the renewal of the cycle of life, marked with dancing, drinking, and flowers. The Floralia was on the IV Kalends May.  Dedicated to Flora, the goddess of flowers and vegetation, this day was considered by the prostitutes of Rome to be their own. While flowers decked the temples, Roman citizens wore colorful clothing instead of the usual white, and offerings were made of milk and honey to Flora."
Floralia - Wikipedia, Wilson's Almanac 

 

"Other May Day customs include: walking the circuit of one's property ('beating the bounds'), repairing fences and boundary markers, processions of chimney-sweeps and milk maids, archery tournaments, Morris dances, sword dances, feasting, music, drinking, and maidens bathing their faces in the dew of May morning to retain their youthful beauty. In the words of Witchcraft writers Janet and Stewart Farrar, the Beltane celebration was principly a time of '...unashamed human sexuality and fertility.' Such associations include the obvious phallic symbolism of the Maypole and riding the hobby horse. Even a seemingly innocent children's nursery rhyme, 'Ride a cock horse to Banburry Cross...' retains such memories. And the next line '... to see a fine Lady on a white horse' is a reference to the annual ride of 'Lady Godiva' though Coventry. Every year for nearly three centuries, a sky-clad village maiden (elected Queen of the May) enacted this Pagan rite, until the Puritans put an end to the custom."
-  Mike Nichols, The Celebration of May Day 

 

Seeds and Cuttings
Hydrofarm Hot House Seed Starter 11-by-22-Inch   
Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your Own Flowers, Vegetables, Fruits, Shrubs, and Trees 
Hydrofarm Jump Start Indoor Grow Light System 
Plant Propagation A to Z: Growing Plants for Free  
Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners  
Hydrofarm Germination Station with Heat Mat  
American Horticultural Society Plant Propagation: The Fully Illustrated Plant-by-Plant Manual    
Burpee Seed Starter: A Guide to Growing Flower, Vegetable, and Herb Seeds Indoors and Outdoors
Plant Propagator's Bible
The New Seed Starter's Handbook
RION MLT3 Mini Lean-To Greenhouse
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing  
Saving Seeds: The Gardener's Guide to Growing and Storing Vegetable and Flower Seeds
Seed Sowing and Saving: Step-by-Step Techniques for Collecting and Growing More Than 100 Vegetables, Flowers, and Herbs

 

                                    

 

"Yes, I will spend the livelong day
With Nature in this month of May;
And sit beneath the trees, and share
My bread with birds whose homes are there;
While cows lie down to eat, and sheep
Stand to their necks in grass so deep;
While birds do sing with all their might,
As though they felt the earth in flight."
-  William Henry Davies, In May 

 

"Face of the spring moon--
about twelve years old,
I'd say."
-  Koyobashi Issa

 

"Horticulturally, the month of May is opening night, Homecoming, and Graduation Day all rolled into one."
-  Tam Mossman

 

"As it fell upon a day
In the merry month of May,
Sitting in a pleasant shade
Which a grove of myrtles made."
-  Richard Barnfield 

 

"Although the ancient Roman holiday of Floralia began in April, it was really an ancient May Day celebration. Flora, the Roman goddess in whose honor the festival was held, was a goddess of flowers, which generally begin to bloom in the spring. The holiday for Flora (as officially determined by Julius Caesar when he fixed the Roman calendar) ran from April 28 to May 3. Romans celebrated Floralia with the set of games and theatrical presentations known as the Ludi Florales. Lily Ross Taylor notes that the Ludi Floralia, Apollinares, Ceriales, and Megalenses all had days of ludi scaenici (literally, scenic games, including plays) followed by a final day devoted to circus games. Roman public games (ludi) were financed by minor public magistrates known as aediles. The curule aediles produced the Ludi Florales. The position of curule aedile was originally (365 B.C.) limited to patricians, but was later opened up to plebeians. The ludi could be very expensive for the aediles, who used the games as a way of winning the affection and votes of the people. In this way, the aediles hoped to ensure victory in future elections for higher office after they had finished their year as aediles. [Cicero mentions that as aedile in 69 B.C. he was responsible for the Floralia (Orationes Verrinae ii, 5, 36-7).] The Floralia festival began in Rome in 240 or 238 B.C. when the temple to Flora was dedicated, to please the goddess Flora into protecting the blossoms. The Floralia fell out of favor and was discontinued until 173 B.C., when the senate, concerned with wind, hail, and other damage to the flowers, ordered Flora's celebration reinstated as the Ludi Florales. (See Ovid Fasti 5.292 ff and 327 ff.)"
-  N.S. Gill, Floralia 

 

"Fair Flora! Now attend thy sportful feast,
Of which some days I with design have past;
A part in April and a part in May
Thou claim’st, and both command my tuneful lay;
And as the confines of two months are thine
To sing of both the double task be mine."
-  Ovid 

 

"One of the greatest virtues of gardening is this perpetual renewal of youth and spring, of promise of flower and fruit that can always be read in the open book of the garden, by those with an eye to see, and a mind to understand. 
-  E.A. Bowles 

 

"Historically, Walpurgisnacht is derived from various Pagan spring customs. In the Norse tradition, Walpurgisnacht is considered the "Enclosure of the Fallen".  It commemorates the time when Odin died to retrieve the knowledge of the runes, and the night is said to be a time of weakness in the boundary between the living and the dead. Bonfires were built to keep away the dead and chaotic spirits that were said to walk among the living then.  This is followed by the return of light and the sun as celebrated during May Day."
Walpurgis Night - Wikipedia 

 

The Art of Happiness by the Dali Lama
Time and the Art of Living by Robert Grudin
Loving Kindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg 
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer
Simple Taoism: A Guide to Living in Balance by Alexander Simkins
The Tao of Daily Life: The Mysteries of the Orient Revealed by Derek Lin
Everyday Tao: Living with Balance and Harmony by Ming-Dao Deng 
Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices by Mike Garofalo
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff 
Scholar Warrior: An Introduction to the Tao in Everyday Life by Ming-Dao Deng
Vitality, Energy, Spirit: A Taoist Sourcebook by Thomas Cleary

 

                             

 

"Daughter of heaven and earth, coy Spring,
With sudden passion languishing,
Teaching barren moors to smile,
Painting pictures mile on mile,
Holds a cup of cowslip wreaths
Whence a smokeless incense breathes."
-  Ralph Waldo Emerson, May Day

 

"Beltane is the last of the three spring fertility festivals, the others being Imbolc and Ostara. Beltane is the second principal Celtic festival (the other being Samhain). Celebrated approximately halfway between Vernal (spring) equinox and the midsummer (Summer Solstice). Beltane traditionally marked the arrival if summer in ancient times.  At Beltane the Pleiades star cluster rises just before sunrise on the morning horizon, whereas winter (Samhain) begins when the Pleiades rises at sunset. The Pleiades is a cluster of seven closely placed stars, the seven sisters, in the constellation of Taurus, near his shoulder. When looking for the Pleiades with the naked eye, remember it looks like a tiny dipper-shaped pattern of six moderately bright stars (the seventh can be seen on very dark nights) in the constellation of Taurus. It stands very low in the east-northeast sky for just a few minutes before sunrise.  Beltane, and its counterpart Samhain, divide the year into its two primary seasons, winter (Dark Part) and summer (Light Part). As Samhain is about honoring Death, Beltane, its counter part, is about honoring Life. It is the time when the sun is fully released from his bondage of winter and able to rule over summer and life once again.      Beltane, like Samhain, is a time of "no time" when the veils between the two worlds are at their thinnest. No time is when the two worlds intermingle and unite and the magic abounds! It is the time when the Faeries return from their winter respite, carefree and full of faery mischief and faery delight. On the night before Beltane, in times past, folks would place rowan branches at their windows and doors for protection, many otherworldly occurrences could transpire during this time of "no time". Traditionally on the Isle of Man, the youngest member of the family gathers primroses on the eve before Beltane and throws the flowers at the door of the home for protection. In Ireland it is believed that food left over from May Eve must not be eaten, but rather buried or left as an offering to the faery instead. Much like the tradition of leaving of whatever is not harvested from the fields on Samhain, food on the time of no time is treated with great care.  When the veils are so thin it is an extremely magical time, it is said that the Queen of the Faeries rides out on her white horse. Roving about on Beltane eve She will try to entice people away to the Faeryland. Legend has it that if you sit beneath a tree on Beltane night, you may see the Faery Queen or hear the sound of Her horse's bells as She rides through the night. Legend says if you hide your face, She will pass you by but if you look at Her, She may choose you. There is a Scottish ballad of this called Thomas the Rhymer, in which Thomas chooses to go the Faeryland with the Queen and has not been seen since."
-  Christina Aubin, Beltane 

 

"For the May Day is the great day,
Sung along the old straight track.
And those who ancient lines did ley
Will heed this song that calls them back...
Pass the cup, and pass the Lady,
And pass the plate to all who hunger,
Pass the wit of ancient wisdom,
Pass the cup of crimson wonder."
-  Jethro Tull, Cup of Wonder

 

"To see a hillside white with dogwood bloom is to know a particular ecstasy of beauty, but to walk the gray Winter woods and find the buds which will resurrect that beauty in another May is to partake of continuity."
-  Hal Borland

 

"Rise and put on your foliage, and be seen
To come forth, like the spring-time, fresh and green,
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
For jewels for your gown or hair
Fear not; the leaves will strew
Gems in abundance upon you
Besides, the childhood of the day has kept,
Against you come, some orient pearls unwept.
Come, and receive them while the light
Hangs on the dew-locks of the night
And Titan on the eastern hill
Retires himself, or else stands still
Till you come forth! Wash, dress, be brief in praying
Few beads are best when once we go a-Maying."
-  Robert Herrick, Corinna's Going a'Maying, 1648 

 

"The beautiful spring came; and when Nature resumes her loveliness, the human soul is apt to revive also. "
-  Harriet Ann Jacobs

 

"I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden."
-  Ruth Stout  

 

"I have a Bird in spring
Which for myself doth sing --
The spring decoys.
And as the summer nears --
And as the Rose appears,
Robin is gone.

Yet do I not repine
Knowing that Bird of mine
Though flown --
Learneth beyond the sea
Melody new for me
And will return."
-  Emily Dickinson, I Have a Bird in Spring 

 

"Nine years after the first official Mother's Day [USA 1914], commercialization of the U.S. holiday became so rampant that Anna Jarvis herself became a major opponent of what the holiday had become. Mother's Day [2nd Sunday in May] continues to this day to be one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions. According to the National Restaurant Association, Mother's Day is now the most popular day of the year to dine out at a restaurant in the United States.  According to IBIS World, a publisher of business research, Americans will spend approximately $2.6 billion on flowers, $1.53 billion on pampering gifts — like spa treatments — and another $68 million on greeting cards.  Mother's Day will generate about 7.8% of the US jewelry industry's annual revenue in 2008. Americans are expected to spend close to $3.51 billion in 2008 on dining out for Mother's Day, with brunch and dinner being the most popular dining out options."
Mother's Day - Wikipedia

 

A Note to Readers:  On May 1, 2011, this webpage was moved to a new webserver at The Month of May.  It is now being maintained, updated, expanded, and improved at its new location on a another webserver

 

"Of Walburga's symbols or attributes, the bundle of grain is obviously a fertility symbol and is typical of the germanic matron goddesses or demi-goddesses once worshipped all over Europe, including Nehalennia, as well as a being a symbol of goddesses in other Indo-European pantheons, such as Demeter and Ceres. The three-cornered mirror seems clearly related to the Norns and the Well of Wyrd: we can see the three corners of the foreseeing mirror as the three Norns, the mirror as the well itself with the three Norns standing around it. The mirror is particularly a "give-away:" who ever heard of, or would want to make or use, a triangular mirror? It is not a convenient shape for viewing one's face, in the normal usage of mirrors!  Neither the dog nor the shock of grain, the magical mirror or the spindle, are likely attributes of the abbess of a christian nunnery, nor is an abbess likely to have been wandering around the countryside having adventures! On the other hand these symbols or attributes are highly typical of Heathen germanic matrons, goddesses, and holy women. The spindle is the attribute before all others of the norns, wise-women, idises, and other womanly wights associated with fate and fortune in the continental Germanic countries. The use of the spindle and hand-spun thread for May-even spells of women's magic is described by Rochholz and by Grimm. Love-oracles using the spindle and thread, and other means, were said to be sent by Walburga herself. Walpurgistide was also the time to shame lazy farmers into working harder, by making a straw doll named Walburga and presenting it to any farmer who had not yet ploughed his land by that day (Rochholz, p. 40). This is quite reminiscent of the well-known chidings women receive from Heathen goddesses such as Berchta and Holda during Yuletide, if their own work has been skimped.  None of these attributes, activities and symbols can be argued to have anything to do with a christian abbess and saint, but have everything to do with Heathen goddesses and holy women, who have always concerned themselves with fertility and food, love, life, death, and hidden knowledge. Thus it is in the highest degree likely that attributes associated with a goddess celebrated at May-even during Heathen times were later grafted onto Walburga, the christian saint whose holy day is celebrated on the first of May."
-  Winifred Hodge, Waelburga and the Rites of May

 

"Spring's last-born darling, clear-eyed, sweet,
Pauses a moment, with white twinkling feet,
And golden locks in breezy play,
Half teasing and half tender, to repeat
Her song of May." 
-  Susan Coolidge, May

 

Astrological Signs:  Taurus,  April 20 - May 20

Astrological Signs:  Gemini,  May 21 -  June 21

May  Birthstones:  Emerald

If you wash a blanket in May; you will wash one of the family away.
Those who bathe in May will soon be laid in clay. 
Marry in May and you will rue the day. 

 

"Is it so small a thing
To have enjoy'd the sun,
To have lived light in the spring,
To have loved,
To have thought,
To have done..."
-  Matthew Arnold

 

"In just -
Spring when the world is mud-
luscious the little
lame balloonman
whistles far and wee"
-  e. e. cummings, Chansons Innocentes, 1923 

 

"If you've never been thrilled to the very edges of your soul by a flower in spring bloom, maybe your soul has never been in bloom." 
-  Audra Foveo 

 

"The bed of flowers
Loosens amain,
The beauteous snowdrops
Droop o'er the plain.
The crocus opens
Its glowing bud,
Like emeralds others,
Others, like blood.
With saucy gesture
Primroses flare,
And roguish violets,
Hidden with care;
And whatsoever
There stirs and strives,
The Spring's contented,
If works and thrives."
-  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Next Year's Spring

 

" 'Established' is a good word, much used in garden books,
'the plant, when established' ...
Oh, become established quickly, quickly, garden!
For I am fugitive, I am very fugitive -
Those that come after me will gather these roses,
And watch, as I do now, the white wisteria
Burst, in the sunshine, from its pale green sheath.
Planned. Planted. Established.  Then neglected,
Till at last the loiterer by the gate will wonder
At the old, old cottage, the old wooden cottage,
And say, 'One might build here, the view is glorious;
This must have been a pretty garden once."
-  Mary Ursula Bethell, Time, 1929

 

"Almost any farmer can describe the blackberry winter.  It's that cold spell that comes in May, about three weeks after Spring fever.  It comes when blackberries are in bloom and does sometimes actually drop a few real snowflakes into the white flowers.  It doesn't bite through to the hard, green, incipient berries nestled behind the petals.  It lasts less than a week."
-  Rachel Peden

 

"Calendar keeping people also watch the stars. In early May the evening sky in the west is marked by an arc of brilliant stars. Sirius in Canis Major, brightest star of the night is low to the southwest, setting in the dusk. Higher and a bit farther north is Procyon in Canis Minor. Then we come to the bright pair, Castor and Pollux, the Twins of Gemini. Still farther north is yellow-cast Capella in Auriga. Capella being the last of the group to set gives its name to this star- lit arch--"Arc of Capella."  Underneath the arch, vanishing from the evening sky, are famous winter stars. As May comes in, the Pleiades, a tightly-clustered group in the constellation Taurus, vanishes in the evening twilight, and mighty Orion follows them. Both groups have long been used for agriculture. The Navajo people refer to the Pleiades as Dilyehe'. "Never let Dilyehe' see you plant," they say. Once the Pleiades are gone from the evening it is time to begin planting in Navajoland, and crops must be started before Dilyehe' is back in the early morning sky before the dawn.  The cross-quarter day that is only vaguely remembered these days in the form of May Day certainly signals the onset of the most pleasant of times in our part of the world. Leaves are bursting out on trees, flowers in all the colors of the rainbow appear on deserts and make their way into the mountains. Farmers work fields and backyard-gardeners plant vegetables and herbs. This is a good time to look around at earth and sky with greater sensitivity and appreciation of emerging abundance that initiates the harvest we will surely enjoy in a few short months."
-  Von Del Chamberlain, Cross Quater May Day

 

"Here is a true explanation, concerning which there can be no doubt.  It attests:
As Above, so Below; as Below so Above. 
All things have been from the Primal Substance through a Single Act.
How wonderful is this work! It is the Main Principle of the World and is Its Maintainer.
The Father is the Sun, and the Mother is the Moon.
The Wind has Borne it in Its Body, and the Earth has Nourished It.
Separate the Earth from the Fire, so you will attain the subtle as more inherent than the gross, with care and sagacity.
It rises from Earth to Heaven, so as to draw the Lights of the Heights to itself, and descends to the Earth.
Within It are the Forces of the Above and the Below.
The Light of Lights is Within It, and thus does the Darkness flee before it.
It is the Force of Forces, which overcomes every subtle thing and penetrates into everything gross.
The structure of the Microcosm is in accordance with the structure of the Macrocosm."
-  Hermes Trismegistus, The Emerald Tablet
   May 24 is the Feast Day of Hermes Trismegistus 

 

"Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May."
-  William Shakespeare

 

"The month of May is said to be named for the Greek Goddess Maia Majestas, the goddess of spring.  The full moon in May is also considered the day to commemorate the Buddha’s enlightenment. This year this occurs May 13. Certainly a fitting honoring of this esbat would be time spent in quiet meditation and reflection.  Beltane correlates to the ancient Roman holiday of Floralia which celebrated the flowers which promise to bear fruit. It was the traditional time to clean and purify the temples. It was also a time to make offerings of flowers to streams and rivers.  It is also traditional to have a bonfire comprised of nine types of wood: birch for the Goddess, oak for the God, willow for death, fir for birth, rowan for magic/magick, apple for love, vine (grape) for joy, hazel for wisdom, and hawthorn for purity."
-  Mama Kelly

 

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"In spring rain
a pretty girl
yawning."
-  Kobayashi Issa

 

"For thee, sweet month; the groves green liveries wear.
If not the first, the fairest of the year;
For thee the Graces lead the dancing hours,
And Nature's ready pencil paints the flowers.
When thy short reign is past, the feverish sun
The sultry tropic fears, and moves more slowly on."
-  John Dryden 

 

"May, queen of blossoms,
And fulfilling flowers,
With what pretty music
Shall we charm the hours?
Wilt thou have pipe and reed,
Blown in the open mead?
Or to the lute give heed
In the green bowers."
-  Lord Edward Thurlow, To May

 

"There is a garden in her face
Where roses and white lilies blow;
A heavenly paradise is that place,
Wherein all pleasant fruits do flow:
There cherries grow which none may buy
Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry.

Those cherries fairly do enclose
Of orient pearl a double row,
Which when her lovely laughter shows,
They look like rose-buds fill'd with snow;
Yet them nor peer nor prince can buy
Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry.

Her eyes like angels watch them still;
Her brows like bended bows do stand,
Threat'ning with piercing frowns to kill
All that attempt with eye or hand
Those sacred cherries to come nigh,
Till 'Cherry-ripe' themselves do cry."
-  Thomas Champion, Cherry Ripe, 1610

 

"Maia is the Oscan Earth-Goddess, and an ancient Roman Goddess of springtime, warmth, and increase. She causes the plants to grow through Her gentle heat, and the month of May is probably named for Her. Her name means "She Who is Great", and is related to Oscan mais and Latin majus, both of which mean "more". She is also called Maia Maiestas, "Maia the Majestic", which is essentially a doubling of Her name to indicate Her power, as both "Maia" and "Maiestas" have their roots in latin magnus, "great or powerful". She was honored by the Romans on the 1st and 15th of May, and at the Volcanalia of August 23rd, the holiday of Her sometimes husband, the Fire-God Vulcan.  She seems to have been paired with Vulcan because they were both considered Deities of heat: through the increasing warmth of Maia's spring season flowers and plants sprouted and grew; while Vulcan's stronger summer heat brought the fruits to ripeness. In a later period, Maia was confused with a Greek Goddess of the same name. This Maia (whose name in Greek can take such various meanings as "midwife", "female doctor", "good mother", "foster mother", or "aunty") was a nymph and the mother of Hermes, the trickster God of merchants, travellers, and liars; She was also said to have been the eldest and most beautiful of the seven sisters who formed the constellation of the Pleiades, whose heliacal rising (meaning when the constellation is just visible in the east before the sun rises) signalled the beginning of summer. Through this association the Roman Maia became the mother of Mercury, and Her festival on the Ides of May (the 15th) coincided with the festival commemorating the date of the dedication of His temple on the Aventine."
Maia Maiestas, Goddess of Spring

 

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May

Recommended Reading and Links

 

Ancient Origins: Solstice

Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions.  By Pauline Campanelli and Dan Campanelli.  St. Paul, Minnesota, Llewellyn Pubs., 1991.  256 pages.  ISBN: 0875420907.  VSCL. 

April:  Quotes, Poems, Links, Lore 

Beltane

Beltane  

Beltane   By Christina Aubin

Beltane: Celebrating the Seasons 

Beltane: Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane

Beltane Links and Rituals  Myth*ing, Beltane, May Day, Walpurgisnacht, Roodmas 

Beltane: Springtime Rituals, Lore and Celebration.  By Raven Grimassi. 

Beltane - Wikipedia

Beltane and May Day - Myth*thing Links and Lore

Can Teach Songs and Poems of Spring   

Celebrate the Earth: A Year of Holidays in the Pagan Tradition.  By Laurie Cabot. 

Celebration of May Day.  By Mike Nichols. 

Celebrating the Jewish Year: The Spring and Summer Holidays: Passover, The Omer, Shavuot, Tishaa b'Av.  By Paul Steinberg and Janet Greenstein Potter. 

Celebrating May Day - School of the Seasons  A wonderful essay! 

Celebrating May Day - The Weather Doctor   

Celebrating the Seasons of Life: Beltane to Mabon.  Lore, Rituals, Activities, and Symbols.  By Ashleen O'Gaea.  A good study of four spring and summer Celebrations in the Wiccan-NeoPagan year.  Rich in details and ideas.   

Chloris: Nymph of Elysian Islands 

Creating Circles and Ceremonies: Rituals for all Seasons and Reasons.  By Oberon Zell-Ravenheart and Morning Glory Zell-Ravenheart. 

Cross Quarter May Day

Cuttings - May.   Haiku and short poems by Michael P. Garofalo.  

Earth Calendar - Wiccan Holidays   

Elaine's Spring Page 

Encyclopedia Mythica 

Flora, Roman Goddess.  Feast Day, Floralia, April 27th - May 3rd 

Floralia, Encyclopedia of Rome  

Floralia - Encyclopedia Mythica 

Floralia - Florales Ludi Festival, W. Smith's Dictionary of Green and Roman Antiquities, 1875 

Floralia - Ludi Florales    

Floralia - Wikipedia   

Flora - Roman Goddess 

Flora, Roman Goddess   Obscure Goddess Online Directory

Flowers: Quotations, Lore, Myths, Resources

Folklore Calendar 

 

The Findhorn Garden: Pioneering a New Vision of Man and Nature in Cooperation   
The Inward Garden: Creating a Place of Beauty and Meaning by Julie Messervy  
Landscape as Spirit: Creating a Contemplative Garden by Martin Hakubai Mosko 
Chop Wood Carry Water: A Guide to Finding Spiritual Fulfillment in Everyday Life edited by Rick Fields
Dharmapada Sutra by the Buddha
The Druidry Handbook: Spiritual Practice Rooted in the Living Earth by John Michael Greer
Heart of Yoga: The Sacred Marriage of Yoga and Mysticism by Karuna Erickson and Andrew Harvey
Tao Te Ching by Lao Tsu, 500 BCE. 
Mind-Body Movement Arts by Mike Garofalo

 

                             

 

A Gardeners Bouquet of Quotations.  Complied by Maria Polushkin Robbins. 

The Green Man   Bibliography, Links, Quotes, Notes, Lore, Poems. 

Green Way Blog

The Green Wizard's Annual Ritual Calendar 

Greetings, Lore and Customs for Springtime

Haiku Spring 

High Days, Seasonal Celebrations, Wheel of the Year, NeoPagan Holidays

Holiday Links - Yahoo   

In Nature's Honor: Myths and Rituals Celebrating the Earth.  By Patricia Montley   

The Librarian at Gushen Grove's Annual Ritual Calendar 

Llewellyn's Magical Almanac

Llewellyn's Sabbats Almanac

Maius Calendar, Societas Via Roma  By M. Moravius Horatius Piscinus. 

Japanese Women's Nature Poetry: Spring 

June:  Quotes, Poems, Links, Lore

May Celebrations - Pagan   

May Crowning - Wikipedia

May Day - Wikipedia 

May Day and Roman Floralia

May Facts, Customs and Traditions in Great Britian

May - German Poets 

May: Holidays, Celebrations, Events, Special Days

May - Links from Yahoo

May - Mystical World Wide Web   

May Quotes GIGA 

May: Quotes, Poems, Lore, Myths, Sayings

May Poem Hunter   

Maypole - Wikipedia   

The Merrie, Merrie Month of May:  A Big Page of May Folklore.  By Pip Wilson.  A very useful resource. 

Midsummer: Magical Celebrations of the Summer Solstice.   By Anna Franklin. 

Months - Quotes, Poems, Links, Lore and Garden Chores 

Mother's Day, USA, 2nd Sunday in May

Mother's Day Quotations

Mystical May - Mystical World Wide Web

Our Path in the Valley Blog   Follow the seasons in the California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, poems, resources, links, and photos.

Poems About Flowers 

Poems On Or About Spring

One Old Taoist-Druid's Journey

Quotes for Gardeners     Over 3,800 Quotes Arranged by 250 Topics. 

Red Bluff, California.  Natural History Studies at our Home and Gardens.  By Karen and Mike Garofalo. 

Ripening Peaches: Taoist Studies and Practices

Round the Maypole   

The Sabbats: A New Approach to Living the Old Ways.  By Edain McCoy.  Practical suggestions for celebrating the pagan holidays in the Wheel of the Year.  

Sacred Circles:  Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotations, Notes, Construction 

Sacred Fire, Holy Well: A Druid's Grimoire.  By Ian Corrigan. 

School of the Seasons - Celebrating May Day   Excellent folklore. 

Sex Magick  May and June are popular months for the practice of sex magick and fertility rituals.

Songs of Spring 

The Spirit of the Earth: Trees and Fertility.  By Kat Morgenstern. 

Spring and Easter Poetry

Spring Days   

Spring Quotes and Quotations

Spring Quotes, Sayings About Springtime  The Quote Garden Collection. 

Spring Quotations

Spring  -  Quotes, Poems, Sayings and Quips for Gardeners    

Spring: Links and Ideas for Teachers   

Spring Poems 

Spring Poems and Poetry  114 Spring Poems

Spring Poetry

Spring Quotes GIGA

Spring Quotations - BellaOnline Collection 79 Quotes 

Springtime Quotations  30 Quotes 

Trees: Quotations, Lore, Myths, Resources 

Waelburga and the Rites of May.  By Winifred Hodge.

Walpurgis Night - Wikipedia

Ways of Walking 

Wheel of the Year, High Days, Seasonal Celebrations, NeoPagan Holidays  

Wheel of the Year: Living the Magical Life.  By Pauline Campanelli. 

Wisdom of the Elements: The Sacred Wheel of Earth, Air, Fire and Water.  By Margie McArthur. 

You Call it May Day, We Call it Beltane.   Peg Aloi. 

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May Weather Lore


Typical Weather for Our Area   Normally, in May, we have daytime high temperatures of 81ºF, nighttime low temperatures of 54ºF, and we get .8 inches of rain.

Our Path in the Valley Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.

 

Freedom of Simplicity: Finding Harmony in a Complex World by Richard Foster  
Simplicity: The Freedom of Letting Go by Richard Rohr
Enough: Discovering Joy through Simplicity and Generosity by Adam Hamilton 
Voluntary Simplicity: Toward a Way of Life That Is Outwardly Simple, Inwardly Rich by Duane Elgin

 

                            


A cold January, a warm May.   -  Welsh Proverb
Mist in May, heat in June, make the harvest come right soon. 
A wet May makes a big load of hay. A cold May is kindly and fills the barn finely.
A swarm of bees in May is worth a load of hay. 
Flowers before May bring bad luck.  -  Welsh Proverb


Clichés for Gardeners 

Weather Lore

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May Gardening Chores

Red Bluff, North Sacramento Valley, California, USA

USDA Zone 9

Typical Weather for Our Area   Normally, in May, we have daytime high temperatures of 81ºF, nighttime low temperatures of 54ºF, and we get .8 inches of rain.

Red Bluff Gardening Notebooks of Karen and Mike Garofalo

Our Path in the Valley Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.

 

May Gardening Chores in Red Bluff

Divide and replant clumps of perennials that have finished flowering.
Take cuttings from some plants.
Watering as needed, especially potted plants.
Read garden books from the library.  
Mowing lawns and weeding.
Planting seeds in containers in the greenhouse.  
Fertilize some actively growing plants.  
Mulch trees, shrubs and garden.  
Weed garden.  Weed garden.  Weed garden. 
Take a nap in the shade.
Thin out plants growing in the vegetable garden.
Mow lawns and field.   
Write a poem.   Keep a garden journal.  
Watering as needed.   Soak trees. 
Celebrate May Day. 
Use straw mulch to conserve water and shade roots.
Don't get sun burnt.     
Dig in composted manure. 
Shape shrubs.
Prune vines. 
Clean up garden workbench area. 
Read some Springtime poetry out loud. 
Thin excess fruit on trees.  
Sit and observe.
Thin our excess vegetables.    
Make sure lath/shade house is ready.  

 

Small is Beautiful by E.F. Schumacher
Voluntary Simplicity by Duane Elgin
The Simple Guide to a Minimalist Life by Leo Babauta
Chop Wood Carry Water edited by Rick Fields
Time and the Art of Living by Robert Grudin
Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less by Marc Lesser 
The Power of Less: The Fine Art of Limiting Yourself to the Essentials by Leo Babauta
Sweeping Changes: Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks by Gary Thorp 

 

                             


May Gardening Chores and Tips for Other Gardening Zones

Oregon State University May Tips

Earth Wise Creations May Tips - Zone 9

Top Garden Projects for May in the Pacific Northwest by Ed Hume

The Gay Gardener - May

52 Weeks in the California Garden by Richard Smaus

The Garden Helper Tips for May - Northern U.S.

Gardening Tips - May - Zone 6 - New York Botanical Garden

Master Gardeners Tips

Monthly Gardening Calendar for May

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Note to Readers:  On May 1, 2011, this webpage was moved to a new webserver at The Month of May.  It is now being maintained, updated, expanded, and improved at its new location on a another webserver

 

 

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Photographs in May


Karen and Mike Garofalo
Red Bluff, Rural Northern California

Red Bluff Home Gardens -  Photo Comparison from 1998 - 2007

Our Path in the Valley Blog   Follow the seasons in the Northern California garden of Karen and Mike with their notes, links, resources, quotes, poems, and photos.

All photographs taken by Karen or Mike Garofalo. 

 

      

    

 

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