Friday, May 04, 2007

"Bring flowers of the fairest..."

"....bring flowers of the rarest, from garden and woodland, and hillside and vale."

That's part of a Marian hymn, songs to be sung to Mary, the Blessed Virgin, and especially in the month of May which is dedicated to her. Being Catholic school brats, my classmates and I were well-practiced in these songs and they've been stuck in my brain ever since. We eagerly awaited the month of May when a lot of time which would otherwise be spent in class was devoted to rehearsing the crowning of the statue of the "Queen of the May". I think the most popular girl always got to place the wreath of flowers on Mary's head, but the rest of us sang our little hearts out. And we got to wear pretty dresses, not our hated school uniforms.

I still eagerly await the first day of May which brings so much promise of flowers, gardening, and the balmy summer months ahead. My own tradition in recent years is to come to work bearing flowers for all my co-workers.

When I'm lucky, like this year, I can find bunches of these spray roses, so everyone gets a stem with 3 or 4 buds on it. This time I picked two different colors, the hot pinkish-orange ones for the more volatile or exotic personalities, and the pale pink for the sweet, traditional dispositions. They make their own choice and I get a secret chuckle out of pegging each one accurately (or not). Of course, on any given day, I could be an orange or a pink, but on the first of May I'm a traditionalist!

And why am I four days late posting this ode to the first day of May? Because I caught a cold that very day and have been miserable ever since! Which didn't stop me from visiting a local nursery after work today. I gathered a few more bedding plants which are destined to be stored in my garage over the weekend since we're expecting freezing temps tonight. The unfairness of it all! But, the sweet promise of May!


kimonchan said...

welcome to my blog

Carol said...

What a great idea to bring flowers to your coworkers on the 1st of May. I'm might do that next year.

Get well soon and I hope your temperatures start to even out for planting all the annuals.

Carol at May Dreams Gardens.

Annie in Austin said...

Lost Roses, this could start a new tradition! I can imagine your coworkers' descendants, thirty years from now. They'll anticipate the First of May when roses appear in the workplace, but they won't know who started it! [We will. One cool woman named LostRoses.] I hope you mend soon.

Annie at the Transplantable Rose

Lynne said...

Our parish school has May Crowning on the first Friday of May (yesterday). The flower procession has the 8th graders in suits and pretty dresses and the second graders wearing their first communion clothes. I've always found Marion hymns moving and yesterday was lovely.

LostRoses said...

Carol, it's fun to do, and everyone always seem so happy to get a flower or two. As for my bedding plants, I bought mostly perennials and was going to leave them out till I had time to plant. But as I was paying for them, the guy who owns the garden center made the offhand remark, "Oh by the way, they just came off the truck from the greenhouse and they haven't been hardenend off yet." So I'm doing the garage to patio shuffle as usual!

Oh, Annie, thanks, that's a very sweet remark! That would be fun, wouldn't it, if someone continues to do it when I'm long gone from the workplace. Today was a busy day with the grandchildren, but I am feeling better and I will enventually get out to the garden!

Lynne, how nice that you got to witness an actual May crowning and yes, it always got to me too! It's been many years since my children were that age but those are some good memories.

Mary said...

Lost Roses,

I have the same memories, as I was a Catholic School child. The May Crowing was a big event and I do remember wearing dresses and the boys wore suits on that special day. We were asked to bring flowers for decorations so my little friend and I trespassed onto a neighbor's garden and pulled tulips by the roots. We were in deep trouble for that...

How nice of you to present flowers to co-workers and match the color with personality. They will always remember you for it.

Hope that cold goes away!

Mary said...

I meant to say "Crowning", not crowing...Sorry!

Yolanda Elizabet said...

What a wonderful idea to bring flowers on the first of May for all your coworkers. And such beautiful flowers too.

I hope you will be rid of that nasty cold soon!

Zoey said...

What a nice coworker you are!

What fun to be pegging everyone as to their feistiness.
I have you pegged for an orange rose!

Annie said...

I Love your roses. May means the beginning of winter for me in Australia however, we are just finishing the Autumn flush and they have been very special. I was able to pick a beautiful bunch the other day, and will take some into work tomorrow. Thought you might like to see my Flaminos.

Anita said...

Wonderful photos!

Flowers for all your co-workers, what a nice idea! This year, I'll have a flower bed just for cutting! I can't wait to cut the first ones!

Happy gardening!


LostRoses said...

Oh Mary, pulling up tulips by the roots, bet you were in trouble! Actually I don't remember if we brought the flowers or not, or perhaps the nuns didn't trust us not to get in the same trouble you did!

Yolanda, it was as fun to pick out the flowers as it was to hand them out! I'm still waiting for my cold to go away.

Hey, Zoey, I peg YOU as an orange!

Annie in Australia, Thank you for the reminder that the seasons are upside down and not everyone is eagerly awaiting spring's blooms! Your Flamingo rose is quite a knock-out, and I can visualize a whole "flock" of them.

Anita, Wish I could have picked them from my own garden, the most I can run to in the best of times is a bouquet or two! A cutting garden is a wonderful thing to have and I bet yours will be outstanding.

MariaJ said...

Thank you for your lovely story. Rose is a very special flower to me also. You know here in Finland every day is named for somebody. We call them a Name Day, (You celebrate them too?)okay, I was born on 4th of May and you can quess whose Name Day it is? Rose's....So my husband always buy me one big one.

Carol said...

Ah yes those roses are very promising! Due to our unsusal hot weather mine are almost blooming at the beginning of may, that's so crazy. Tonight we had the first rain after 44 days without a drop! Well I hope that freezing weather in your part of the world finally ends and that you are feeling better by now! *fingers crossed*
Hugs Carol x

LostRoses said...

Maria, how interesting! We have Saint's days, but not name days as you describe them. Since my name is a derivation of yours, I guess my name day is May 4th also! I'm glad I picked the right flower to give to everyone. Oh, and happy birthday!

Carol, 44 days with no rain is a long time! I'm so glad your roses are ready to bloom beautifully, on my bushes the leaves are just now coming out. We're very slow!

Karen said...

Coming back to this post about a month late. I love this post because it made me remember all the songs from my childhood that I thought were buried. 'Tis the month of our mother/The blessed and beautiful days...