Due to the cold spring mentioned in a previous post, plants have been flowering later than usual. The Hawthorn blossoms are also known as May Flowers, yet here they are blossoming in June.
The Hawthorn is one of those iconic trees/shrubs associated with our Celtic Pagan past. It supposedly offers protection from the Evil Eye and in some parts of the UK even today, it is used as a Rag Tree. The idea is that if you are ill you tie an item of clothing to the tree and by the time it rots off you will be cured. Damaging or chopping down a Hawthorn is considered likely to bring you bad luck. It is also used in May Day celebrations. The May Queen will have a garland of May flowers and the May King (also known as Jack-in-the-Green) would be decorated with boughs and leaves of the Hawthorn and Oak. If this all sounds a bit creepy and “Wicker Man” like, we used to have such celebrations when I was at school in the 1970’s. I vividly remember having to dance around the Maypole and not having a clue what I was doing – I skipped the wrong way and wefted when I should have been weaving. Quite frankly I ruined the spectacle for everyone. I have some empathy for Edward Woodward’s plight as he is overcome by a horde of skipping, garland clad pagans intent on sacrificing him; but I digress, they are pretty blossoms beloved by butterflies and will turn into haws providing food for birds, so it would indeed be unlucky to cut them down.