Hawthorn in May

I do love Cecily Mary Barker's Flower Fairies. They epitomise so beautifully the flowers of the month they depict.

May's Fairy is Hawthorn and this blossom is everywhere at the moment. With the Hawthorn trees in full bloom and cow parsley in all the hedges the world is all frothy and white.

My buds, they cluster small and green;
The sunshine gaineth heat:
Soon shall the hawthorn tree be clothed
As with a snowy sheet.

O magic sight, the hedge is white,
My scent is very sweet;
And lo, where I am come indeed,
The Spring and Summer meet.

Gerard Manley Hopkins in his poem The Starlight Night coins the word May-mess "Look, look: a May-mess, like on orchard boughs!"

May-mess is a perfect Hopkins word for when verges are frothy with cow parsley and hawthorns white with May blossom. I love the way that Hopkins coins his own words, which are so very descriptive.

The Celtic month of Hawthorn begins on 13th May. Known as the May tree, Hawthorn blossom gifts healing to the heart and is sacred to the goddess Brigid as she brings new growth and fertility. A tree beloved of fairies, the hawthorn should never be harmed.

Hawthorn blossom is often called bread and cheese or bara caws in Welsh. My Mum always said this every time she saw the beautiful blossom. I think children would often eat the leaves which are said to taste of bread and cheese.