May you Flow

By Jo Phillips

The Maypole may be something we consider a most British, of Village traditions, but it is actually very European. A tall wooden pole erected with streams of ribbons falling from the top has been around as part of various European folk festivals, dating back to potentially early Medieval times or even as early as the Iron age. Men and women or girls and boys would dance around the pole as a celebration of birth, life and fertility of the early summer months like at say the Whitsun festival. Pagan in its heritage and thought to originally hail from parts of Germany it is a festival that survived many obstacles and is still practised; a reaffirmation of life if you like. Find out more in May You Flow Here. Main Image Thomas de Hoghton

Before there was organised religion there was a form of praising the earth rather than any deity. Our natural world was the centre of our acclaim and each season was celebrated for what it bought in way of weather, food and protection, via what we would refer to now as folklore. The spring and summer months were of course extremely important as spring is about renewal and birth as much as it is about sunshine and growth.

Maypoles were likely erected in the UK as a sign that the happy season of warmth and comfort had returned, new lambs were being born and the earth was providing food, and to celebrate the growth of new vegetation as a whole, with people gathering and feasting under them.

The tying of ribbons and the dancing associated with them came later and even at times in Britain, they were considered pagan and were band by the church but the tradition continues even today.

In the very spirit of growth of flora and fauna, the Chelsea flower show returns this year in the late spring (last year it showed in Autumn due to covid). This international renowned flower and garden spectacular occasion was set up by The Royal Horticultural Society and returns again this spring, from Tuesday 24th to Saturday 28th May 2022 at The Royal Hospital, Chelsea. The event is considered one of the greatest flora and fauna shows and reveals cutting-edge garden designs, as well as fantastical floral displays.

Now if you want to see a maypole this season then we suggest a trip to The Judith Blacklock school of flowers where there will be an impressive, traditional maypole adorned with flowers and flowing ribbons.

This maypole has been created by Judith as her interpretation of this year’s theme for Chelsea which is a celebration of a return to the wild as gardens teeming with native plants that benefit wildlife will take centre stage.

For this auspicious occasion, Judith has partnered her maypole event with a sparkling glass of Corte Molino to offer guests a celebratory drink when they visit the school.

For Judith, the maypole represents fertility and rebirth following on from Spring when the flowers started to bloom and this particular Maypole will be decorated as per tradition

This year, another floral celebration the Belgravia in Bloom festival has the theme ‘Beautifully British’ as it takes place in the run-up to the Queen’s Jubilee. And this event from Judith and her drinks partner is also in celebration of the Queen’s diamond jubilee.

Corte Molino Prosecco Rosé is a blend of Glera and Pinot Nero and is perfectly vibrant pink in colour with flavours of raspberry and strawberry and delicate floral notes; a true celebration of the season.

The magnificent maypole will be available to view outside the school for the duration of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show from 24 – 28 May and a Corte Molino drink available to visitors during the school’s opening hours.

The flower school is based in a secluded, historic, and charming mews in esteemed Belgravia. Judith Blacklock Flower School, 4-5 Kinnerton Place South, London, SW1X 8EH judithblacklock.com
Twitter @judithblacklock
Instagram: @judithblacklockflowerschool @cortemolino

If you enjoyed reading May you Flow why not read A colourful Circus Here

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