Happy May Day

My favorite May 1st is a 1997 trip to Paris. We were staying at Le Meurice across from le jardin des Tuilerie. I wasn’t familiar with the French tradition where Lilly of the Valley is freely picked and sold on the streets, but a bouquet was delivered with my breakfast, and I was hooked. It’s always been one of my favorite flowers. I’ve stolen pips from yards across America to transplant, but while they grow wildly in some locations, I can’t ever keep them going!

It’s also a French holiday – their equivalent of Labor Day. Locally the focus today is on a day without Latinos. I doubt the protest will cross my path, but I’ll let you know at the end of the day.

Many are called today to the National Day of Prayer. There will be a group at Brookfield’s city hall at 12:20pm. In the Catholic tradition, the first of May is a day for Mary. Some local Catholic schools will be crowning her statue today.

I’ll be planting pansies. Though the Oklahoma contingency is bragging about being all planted, we still have to wait up here. I’m going to cheat this year and pop in a flat or two in pots.

That said, I think it’s a day off for me. You’re welcome to comment at will here.



  1. Anyone remember making paper flowers in school and filling paper basket with them on this May Day? We were instructed to hang them on someone’s front door knob (usually our own), ring the doorbell, and run!

    My Lilly of the Valley are behind schedule this year–too cold of a winter. Some years they are blooming already by this time. I have lots of them at my house. If anyone wants a few pips, I will share.

  2. Cheri M. says:

    I remember a kid’s activity of dancing around a Maypole, holding strips of crepe paper attached to the top the pole, and weaving in and out. Everyone thought it was fun, I thought it was stupid.

    Now, making paper flowers, I’d like. Ding-dong-ditch as a prank on your parents is a cute way to deliver the flowers.

    I will prefer praying at the flagpole over both of these, however!

    Lily-of-the-valley – love them. Have quite a few, and the leaves are just poking up, still pretty tightly swirled. Some people used to call them Maybells. Yep, they bloom in May. Perhaps the end of May this year. Our snowdrops and crocus are all but finished blooming. My daffodils are looking GREAT, and the Helleborus, too. A few Hyacinth are open. I haven’t been out working in the garden as much this year as in the past… usually starting in March. May I blame the weather?

  3. Thanks Kyle! I’m permanently optimistic that one day I’ll have a few of my own blooming on May Day.

  4. Maybe you take too good care of them. Mine thrive on neglect!

    We had them at my childhood home too–in deep shade and in clay soil. Mine are in shade now. Could sun be the problem?

  5. Al Goreleone says:

    The march of the Red Army through Red Square always use to do it for me.

  6. Kathryn says:

    I’ve never actually seen a Maypole. Isn’t that tradition related to morris dancing?

  7. Cheri M. says:

    You sent me a-researching on that one (or should I say, a-googling!)… morris dancing… hmm, some of the enteries DO mention the Maypole. You are one smart cookie!

    Cindy, Kyle,
    I believe the official master gardener word on Lily Of The Valley is shade. Also a bag of well-composted cow manure between Christmas and New Years to feed them as they begin to grow.

    If you like the fragrance of Lily Of The Valley, you might like to try “Jessica McClintock” cologne or parfum. It’s my favorite!

    Has anyone seen the great Lily Of The Valley frosting flowers you can make with Wilton method cake decorating? They teach it at Michaels! We piped a few onto our Easter cake this year. I’ve also seen a cake designed completely in these… gorgeous! Here’s a basic how-to photo from the web. (It’s better in person!) http://www.wilton.com/decorating/basic/lilyvalley.cfm

  8. Cute frosting flowers, Cheri. (I cake decorate) I will have to look for that tip.

    FYI Soaps and Scents at Mayfair has a few Lilly of the Valley oil scents that you can mix with a special cologne liquid for a purely natural cologne. Total cost is around $11. (People with allergies won’t react to these types of colognes as they do with the commercial types.)

    I like “China Rain” from their line–it is not quite so intense, yet the fragrance is very authentic.

  9. Cheri M. says:

    Sounds lovely, I will have to check it out!

  10. Happy Mission Accomplished Day!

  11. Funny, that’s the campaign slogan Mayor Jeff Speaker used against me when we ran two years ago. He changed it midstream to “Brookfield’s best days are yet to come.”

    We’re still waiting.