When I was a kid, my brother and I used to gather little bouquets of flowers – usually a collection of dandilions and the violets that grew like weeds, plus a stem or two from our mom’s garden – and put them on our neighbors’ doorsteps as May Day presents. We’d ring the bell and hide behind the nearest tree, waiting to see if they got them. Usually no one was home, and I imagine a lot of our neighbors were curious about the wilted bundle of weeds waiting on their doorsteps when they got home. Still, it was great fun for us, until the time we decided to make a special bunch for Mr. Dougherty across the street. We made it extra-fancy with a few of our mom’s favorite tulips for good measure. We tied it to the front door handle, rang the doorbell and scurried behind a largish bush in the front yard. Well, Mr. Dougherty was a huge, gruff man with rather poor eyesight, and somehow he managed to overlook the little bundle clinging to the outside of the handle. In three long steps he had made it to our hiding place and was giving us a good scolding for playing ding-dong-ditch at his door. That was the end of the May Day bouquets.
May first was traditionally celebrated as the beginning of summer, also known as Beltane. In pre-Christian Europe, it was the start of the Floralia, honoring the Roman goddess of flowers, Flora. So, in the spirit of Flora, I took photos of all the gorgeous, blooming flowers on my neighborhood walk. I was so inspired, I think I might use some of them for a new floral print collection. I could call it the May Queen… or something.