My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot.
~ Ashleigh Brilliant

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

May Day, May Day!

As I ignore the fact we awoke to fresh snow on the ground today and thank our lucky stars it's less than an inch because we're comfortably north of where the real snow action is, I send you wishes for a happy May Day! :-)

You know that little ditty "April showers bring May flowers?" Well, after the Greek god Zeus made a mess with his serious April glowers, it's time to bring in a goddess to put things right ~ the Roman goddess Flora (goddess of --- wait for it --- flowers!), who was traditionally honored on this day by the (another surprise) ancient Romans. And so today, Flora and I are teaming up to bring you some beautiful blooms...

Though not what we think of as a typical "May flower," I think some varieties of Echeveria flowers are absolutely stunning. Echeveria is a large genus of succulents (you probably know some of the varieties by their popular name "Hen and Chicks") native to Mexico and South American, and named for the 18th century Spanish botanist Atanasio Echeverria Codoy.

When I found this photo of lovely Echeveria flowers that accompanied this article on how to grow Echeveria in containers, I pinned it to my Earth Laughs in Flowers Pinterest board. Since it's by far the most popular thing I've ever pinned, repinned 199 times and liked 74 times so far, I thought it worth sharing here, too...

Photo by Kerry Michaels

I obviously agree with all the repinners that this photo is a beauty, but I actually prefer this other Echeveria photo that I'd found a week earlier (and came awfully close to linking to as one of the examples on my Paschal Pastels post!)...

Exotic Blue Echeveria, photo by Alessandro Pessina

Enjoy this "sweet and merry" month of May, everyone! (Even those of you getting snowed on - we'll all be bloomin' merry eventually!) :-)


  1. BEEE-U-TIFUL flowers miss Laloofah! I LOVE succulents...don't seem to have a knack for them, but I always admire them all arranged in creative ways :) But these succulent-like flowers...I've never seen them before!! And I loved the song/vid with the beautiful shots! I sang in a madrigal choir all through high school :) I love that last shot of the group, all in a field!! So cool!!

    1. I love succulents too, but have had mixed results growing them. And like you, I'd never seen these beautiful varieties of Echeveria flowers before! I want to try to find some to grow in our sunny breakfast nook!

      I'm glad you enjoyed that video - and now that I know about your musical DNA, I'm not surprised you sang in a madrigal choir! :-) I'd actually been looking for a video with the song, "In the Merry Merry Month of May" when I found this one by accident and thought it was beautiful with all the flowers.

  2. I was always the May Queen at school. I got to sit on a throne, looking May queenish, while the peasants danced around the maypole...happy days!
    We have sun and temps in the low 20Cs today...I'll send some with a batch of no fat chocolate walnut muffins...that do ya?
    Jane x

    1. And why did you stop? I think you need to revive the tradition - I'm sure Chris won't mind being your knave. :-)

      The only May Day thing I ever did was to institute the tradition of May Baskets as a high school student council fund raiser my senior year. We had fun taking orders for them, making the little cornucopias and filling them with goodies and delivering them around town (a small town, fortunately) before school and then to our fellow classmates IN school that day. Great fun - and a great fundraiser!

      Yes please, I'll take that warm sunny day and a dozen or so of those muffins, please!! (Or I'll settle for the recipe!) :-)

    2. Easy peasy....take the cranberry orange muffin recipe...keep the cranberries,swap the orange juice for pineapple, keep the walnuts, replace some of the wholewheat flour with cocoa powder...done!
      Jane xx
      Or swap the cranberries for raisins,swap the orange juice with pineapple juice..TA DA! Raisin and walnut muffins...really nice with some lime zest thrown in.

    3. Sounds delicious! I don't generally have pineapple juice on hand though, but love the combo of orange and chocolate - perhaps another permutation of this recipe is in the offing! :-) And won't these be delightful in my new muffin cups! ;-)

    4. Anything is delightful in the muffin cups!!
      Jane x

  3. What luck that my computer came back on in time for lunch. It'll be nice to go away on a 4 day vacation caught up on your posts and previous comments. (I'm glad I'll get to see the view even if we have to picnic in the car!)

    This post was perfect because I'm only travelling 2 hours today but it's a place that must be much more temperate. High of 58 here this weekend and 78 there! So I'm expecting to see some blooms in person!!

    I enjoyed both photos of the Echeveria. The second one would have been perfect for your pastel post but it was nice to see the two side by side. It's a waxy sort of plant and I needed the first photo to help me believe that the second was a photo of a real flower - it seems too colorful for nature.

    The video was really pretty. One of my favorite shots was the one with the bridge in it. I think bridges are a beautiful background for plants.

    Have a super weekend!

    1. Lucky timing indeed! Did you ever find out what the trouble was this time?

      That's quite a temperature difference! I hope you'll get to spend a lot of time outdoors and not just be inside hunched over your scrapbook project the whole time! ;-)

      What do you mean, "seems too colorful for nature?" Girl, you need to get out more. Nature is full of incredible colors! Are some of my sunrise photos not enough of an example for you? Autumn in New England, then? Any number of flowers besides these Echeveria? You should apologize to Mother Nature for dissing her collection of paints. :-)

      I agree with you, I love bridges with either flowering trees or fall foliage around them. Especially those Japanese-style bridges. They always look so tranquil!

  4. Happy Lá Bealtaine. Lovely plants, not exactly what one would associate with May Day, but the video certainly brings May to life, the flowers, trees and bridge, just beautiful.

    1. And yes, a blessed Beltane to you! I could have blogged about all kinds of things today. :-)

      I know, the Echeveria is definitely not a typical flower for May Day, but all I've got that's blooming around the neighborhood to photograph are the daffodils that I've already featured in my last two posts and some white tulips that just bloomed. Besides, it's fun to paint outside the lines sometimes! :-) And I thought their colors were very spring-y! But yes, that video was perfectly suited to today, both musically and visually! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

  5. The flowers are really beautiful. <3

    I'm not at a connection that'll easily let me watch the video right now, but I'll try to see it on Friday if our internet actually gets fixed. Argh!

    Hopefully lots of May flowers & sunshine are coming our way soon!

    1. Good luck with your internet (you and Jo both, what's going on out there in the midwest??), and thanks for making an extra effort to visit this post today!

      Even if flowers and sunshine aren't headed your way soon, you'll sure be heading their way! :-) (I hope you're taking the southern route going out, or you're likely to encounter more snow in the Denver area!)

      Happy trails!!!!

  6. I want to have a picnic right by the bridge in the video!

    I think they call it "zone envy" when you wish you could grow things that thrive elsewhere. I love narcissus, hyacinths and lilac... Such lovely flowers and the scent is hypnotic! But they just don't like the southern heat.

    Now I've got a few varieties of hen 'n chicks... They don't slow down and spread everywhere. (read: like a weed). Anyway, you know how to reach me - Let me know if you want some - I'd be happy to share. Seriously. ;)

    1. I didn't know my affliction had a name! :-) On the mountain we were Zone 3, that was tough. Down here in town at least we're Zone 4, which comes with a few more offerings, at least!

      Ah, now lilacs we have in abundant supply here. Wish I could trade you some for bougainvillea and wisteria! (Do you have wisteria there?)

      I'd love some of your hens and chicks, are you kidding? We're needing some ground cover for the south side of our house. I'm thinking of planting a variety of Ice Plant - surely something called "Ice Plant" should do well here?!

    2. When we lived on acreage I planted wisteria at the base of an electric pole - It climbed beautifully! 5 years later it grew in between the transformer and let out a bang nearly heard around the world! Power was out for 2 days! Live and learn. :/

      Don't know much about Ice Plants... I'm needing ground cover in a high traffic area too. Maybe I'll try some.

      Hen/chicks do fine out of dirt and travel well without water. I'm not kidding - Let me know if you want some! Eesy-peesy to do! ;)

    3. Oh noooo! Who knew a beautiful wisteria could wreak such havoc! Hopefully the electric company wasn't too harsh with you (if they even knew who the wisteria planter had been!) :-)

      The south side of our house isn't high-traffic, but we've planted some wooly thyme there. My friend Robyn's entire back yard is wooly thyme that she's planted there over the years - it's so soft and fragrant under foot! It comes in so many varieties and aromas, with different colored little flowers - I'd check it out as a possible ground cover!

      BW and I would LOVE to take you up on your Hens & Chicks offer! That's so generous of you! I'll visit your blog in a bit to see if your email address is there so I can send you our mailing address - if not, you should be able to email me using the fire-breathing dragon link to the right below my two blog awards and above my live site feed widget! Thanks so much, Bea!

  7. Replies
    1. Love it when a post makes people smile! (Or laugh, think, be inspired, etc). :-)

  8. Flowers yay. Snow boo! Double boo! Hope that's IT!
    Love the various purples that come out this time of year.

  9. There's just something about the sight of beautiful flowers that does the soul good. Thanks, TW! xoxoxo

    1. I agree, especially after a long winter - but really, it's true any ol' time! :-)

  10. Wow - those flowers are so beautiful! We're still waiting for ours to start blooming.

    1. Shouldn't be much longer now, judging from your thawed lake photos! :-)

      There are blooming daffodils, crocus and a few tulips in our neighborhood, and our little viola have been blooming for a while! I noticed on my walks yesterday that various trees and shrubs look like they're just waiting for an excuse to burst out in leaves!


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  • THE HUMANE GARDENER ~ Nancy Lawson
  • THE WORLD WITHOUT US ~ Alan Weisman

There is still strong in our society the belief
that animals and the natural world have value
only insofar as they can be converted into revenue.
That nature is a commodity.
And that the American dream is one of unlimited consumption.
There are many of us, on the other hand,
who believe that animals and the natural world
have value by virtue of being alive.
That Nature is a community to which we belong
and to which we owe our lives.
And that the deeper American dream is one of unlimited compassion.

~John Robbins, "The Food Revolution"

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