April Showers

Daisies in the rain April Showers

April showers bring May flowers. We’ve all heard this rhyme at some point, usually having been taught it at an early age by our parents or teachers. It’s a popular thing to say and hear around the springtime, but one thing you might not know is where the rhyme originated from.

It can be traced back to the mid 1500s, although earlier use of “April showers bring May flowers” may have existed. In 1557 a gentleman by the name of Thomas Tusser compiled a collection of writings he called A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry. In the April Husbandry section he wrote:

Sweet April showers Do spring May flowers

As you can see, the rhyme was originally a short poem. There is meaning behind the words, as well. “April showers bring May flowers” is a reminder that even the most unpleasant of things, in this case the heavy rains of April, can bring about very enjoyable things indeed – an abundance of flowers in May.

“April showers bring May flowers” is a lesson in patience, and one that remains valid to this day. Many of life’s greatest things come only to those who wait, and by patiently and happily enduring the clouds and damp of April you can find yourself more easily able to take in the sights and smells of May. After all, it’s easier to love something if you begin with an optimistic outlook!

“April showers bring May flowers” is also an example of the spring cycle of renewal that many parts of the Earth go through, and can be scientifically analyzed. There are actually several contributing factors to the appearance of flowers in May. Rain, of course, is at the forefront of positive stimuli bringing about floral displays in May. Increased levels of moisture in the soil help plants to grow faster and healthier. The water can also help nutrients reach the roots faster as well,

Temperature is another contributing factor. As the days grow warmer, plants find it easier to grow. They are genetically hard-wired to begin growth as the soil thaws and the frost becomes more distant. This combined with the rain is a perfect signal to the plant that it’s time to return to life (or begin life in the case of a seed or bulb).

Wildlife plays an important part too. The springtime sees the return of many animals, birds and insects. The renewed ecosystem involving things eating and being eaten provides nourishment for new plants in the form of fertilizer and decaying organic compounds. The presence of insects also helps to pollinate the plants, which in turn allows them to reproduce.

If you’re having a hard time enduring the seemingly never-ending April showers, then bring May flowers into your home early by purchasing bouquets and arrangements from your florist. This is a good way to secure a sneak peek of things to come. You can use the florist’s online shop to browse various pre-made arrangements or to get ideas for customized ones.

You can also make purchases and arrange for delivery this way, saving you from having to go out in the middle of a storm. It works well with gifts, as well, since you can send a taste of spring to friends and family without needing to leave your home (perfect if they need a reminder about how April showers bring May flowers as well).

You may wish to use this time to plan your garden, or to do some basic maintenance on the nicer days. It’s good to get ahead of schedule, because then it lets you do some experimenting.

Why not spend some time researching various species of plants you could try, or landscaping techniques and general gardening advice? There are plenty of resources at your disposal, including your florist, the internet, and books at the local library. By studying this material you can come up with great ideas to work with.

As you can see, the benefits of waiting for the April showers to bring May flowers are great. May heralds the beginning of the warmer months and leads into summer, when the highest concentrations of plants can be found blooming about the world. 

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Points To Ponder

On Being British
A British daily newspaper ran a contest asking its readers "What does it mean to be British?" Here is the winning response:

"Being British is about driving in a German car to an Irish pub for a Belgian beer, then traveling home, grabbing an Indian curry or a Turkish kebab on the way, to sit on Swedish furniture and watch American shows on a Japanese TV. And the most British thing of all is being suspicious of anything foreign."

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