Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 2
April 2008
 
Interesting Reads
 


Excerpt from American Agriculturalist, Vol. XIX-No. 5, May 1860.

May Flowers

May Flowers

  "The flowery May, who from her green lap throws
  The yellow cowslip and the pale primrose." -MILTON

Our picture is a little too early, perhaps, for this month, in some parts of the north, but for our latitude, and all south of us, it gives the true spirit of the season. The spring has come with all its joyous associations. The snow squalls are past, the April showers are over, and one may safely venture out for the day, without overcoat and umbrella.

You have here, in the foreground, a family group beneath two majestic trees standing upon the banks of a stream. You see on the right a little patch of water with aquatic plants at the edge, and the dog who has just come out from a bath, as full of fun and frolic as the merriest biped in the company. The whole party is in motion, and the younger members have on their high-heeled shoes. Every face wears the eager air of expectation, even the baby, who stretches up its little hand to the green boughs of the old oak, like older people, reaching after that which is too high for its grasp.

They have gathered their spoils, cowslips from the brook, flowers from the hedges, evergreens from the woods, and are bound home or to the village green, where they will meet other family parties and join the frolic around the May pole. You miss the husband and father in the group, and this is one of the excellences of the artist, for he shows his power in a picture quite as much by what he suggests, as by what he portrays. The fact is, the old gentleman has turned boy, and you will find him down the stream a few rods, where it plunges over a rocky bed, casting his fly for trout. A brace of speckled beauties, a foot long or more, are already in his basket, and he confidently expects a dozen from the same rapids. It is of no use to speak to him now, for he has glorious sport, and nothing short of a drowning child would call him off until his basket is filled.

In the background you see other parties Maying, the peaceful kine lying in the meadows, the green woods, the spire of the village church, and the distant hill tops, a scene of rural beauty that will make every citizen long to pack his trunk, and start for the country. The reality, we suspect, is quite as pleasant as the picture; and this month will find our readers, some of them in the far south enjoying green peas, tomatoes, and new potatoes, but the larger number, reveling in the vision of meadows in their freshest green, in blooming orchards and gardens, in the hum of bees and bird songs, wandering

  "Through fields of floral silver and gold,
  Catching the apple tree's breath and bloom."

Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1860. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.

 
     
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