Friday is May Day, the first day of May, a day that has been celebrated since Pagan times, and quite rightly so; nothing can compete with the beauty and optimism of May. The sun shines ever warmer, greenery thickens and weighs on the tree’s, Bluebells reach tall into the sky, their asparagus like spears erupting into little bells, heralding the start of this most beautiful of months.
May celebrations have waned over the years, but we believe there’s much to celebrate. May Day was traditionally a time for May Pole dancing, the crowning of a May Queen, and decorating with local spring greenery and flowers. Last year, we made May Day posies and gave them to friends, reviving an ancient tradition of anonymously gifting May Baskets, an idea originally spotted on our mate Lou’s blog. We can’t wait to do the same this year.
Seen as May is such a wonderful spring celebration of local, seasonal flowers and greenery, it would be a bit of a travesty to buy flowers shipped in from abroad. Buy British blooms, or better yet, pick them from your own garden, or do a bit of responsible scrumping from local wild spots. Ours are from the wonderful Great British Florist. They do gift bouquets too, so if you're the flower sending type- check these guys out. I stopped sending flowers because, I thought, all florists use flowers flown in from abroad at huge costs to the environment, but I;m excited to start sending new baby/birthday/just cause flowers again. They're a much more ethical way to gift flowers and ordering from them ensures a gorgeous seasonal bunch (no hideous illumines daisies).
We made watercolour paper cones for our posies this year. Heres how.
British blooms cut to roughly 30 cms
A4 watercolour paper
Watercolour paints, and water
Tape to hold the cones closed
Trodat or alphabet stamps to add May greetings to paper cone.
1) Paint your paper.
a) Mix desired colours with lots of water- we’re going for a ‘barely-there’ watercolour look.
b) Paint water on paper.
c) Using one colour at a time, begin by painting splotches of one colour onto the wet paper. See how it bleeds. Try lines, flicks and blobs. Continue with complimentary colours until the paper is filled. For stronger colour, mix more of the pigment into your watered down paint.
d) Allow to dry.
2) Arrange your flowers.
a) Create 4 (or however many posies you’re making) posies- combining different shapes and colour of flower. Roughly 8 stems. Trim the ends.
b) Wrap wet tissues or kitchen roll around the bottom of the stems and insert them into a small food bag, and tighten it up as much as you can
3) Make Paper cones.
a) Fold one corner of your paper into the middle of the sheet, as pictured, and stop down the side to hold it in place.
b) Trim the top to round it off and make it neat
c) Stamp or write message onto the front or inside of your cone. We used our Trodat stamp for this
d) Punch two holes near the front of the cone and thread twine through them, tying them inside the cone. (If you punch the holes at the back of the cone, it won't hang properly, but rather hang to the side)
Put your posies wrapped in tissue and a plastic bag into your paper cone. Hang on your neighbours doors and spread a bit of May Day cheer. The wet tissue should keep flowers perky for a few hours, but recipients will need to transfer them into a jam jar or some such once they’re inside.
Look out for more May Day posts tomorrow!
This post is in collaboration with Great British Florist, a wonderful company we are thrilled to be working with. They do British blooms as gift bouquets, wedding flowers, potted flowers and buckets of un-arranged flowers, which is great if you like to arrange your own- which we do, and is what we were sent. See below.
P.S A massive thanks to this months sponsors who support this blog and our families and help us create content for you guys. Cambridge Baby do gorgeous ethical kids wear and have given us a 10% discount for Seeds and Stitches readers with code 'green' (thanks guys!). Myriad is full kids toys, activities and games for all ages. Built to last from wood and lovely ethical materials. Wild Fox photography (AKA Hannah's mister) specialise in natural, non posed family photo's. Great British Florist do the most beautiful British gift bouquets. Go check em out! And get in touch with us here if you're interested in sponsoring or advertising with us, we'd love to hear from you.