Life in the Box: May Flowers

I was in Boston one February and the crocuses were blooming. This shocked me because I had never seen them so early—it was winter, after all, not spring.

As sure as March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb–or is that vice-versa?—April showers will bring May flowers. Depending on where we grow up, reality might be a bit different.



In central Illinois and central Iowa, spring flowers unfold mainly in April. The color is so welcome after the black, white and browns of winter! And the order of flowering comes something like this: crocus, daffodils, and dandelions in April.

Tulips, violets, bluebells, lilies of the valley, lilacs and irises in early May. Apple and berry trees will bloom and leaf then, too.

By mid-May you can safely plant annuals, and around Memorial Day weekend you may have some peonies or daylilies to lay on the gravestones of people you’re remembering.

I’m sure I’ve left out some favorites, but this is the general timeline. Roses get blooming in June. For the brides and maybe a few grooms.

My illustrations are from my garden, mostly. And stolen from other places like lawn and garden shops and our local demonstration garden. I’m still devilishly playing the line between “actual photo” and “painterly.” Hope you enjoy either kind of floweriness.

Try playing some of the youtube songs about May, listed below, none of which I’ve ever heard before I started writing this essay. Some songs are gentle country, some rockin’, and one I think is hilarious, sung by Julie Andrews. “It’s time for fun, wholesome or un-…”

Enjoy your May days!

Nancy Heather Brown is a retired, Emmy Award-winning television producer whose career has included interviewing, writing, narrating and editing for a span of four decades. Today, she enjoys learning new things and reflecting upon the creative process and life issues, both inside and outside the box. Her opinions are her own, and are not necessarily those of this web site.

Songs about May

Ashley Monroe “Mayflowers” 

Bee Gees “The First of May” 

Sarah Brightman “The First of May” 

Rock (Punk?) version “Month of May” by Arcade Fire, “the violent winds blow the wires away”

“The Lusty Month of May” sung by Julie Andrews written by Alan Jay Lerner, “It’s wild, it’s gay, it’s the lusty month of May… The month when everyone goes blissfully astray”

Sad, remorseful “Five Days in May” with video of Fall and harvest… sung by Blue Rodeo  


One response to “Life in the Box: May Flowers”

  1. Your photographs are so lovely. Thank you.

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