“As full of spirit as the month of May, and gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.”
The May Day basket is but a forgotten rite of spring in North America. In this charming tradition, a small bouquet of flowers is hung on a neighbor’s door to welcome spring. The giver remains anonymous so that there is no reciprocity expected. It is a small floral gift to brighten the recipient’s day.
Traditionally the bouquets are held in small paper cones, hung with ribbon. See my “how to” instructions on making the paper cones here. Any household containers can be used as a May Basket. An empty aluminium can with hammered holes on its side threaded with ribbon makes a unique bouquet holder. Jelly jars with wire or ribbon/raffia/twine wrapped around the neck work well too as do baskets with handles. Even an inverted party paper hat with the elastic replaced with ribbon can be totally charming repurposed as a May bouquet container. I created several May Baskets to inspire yours. Who will you surprise on May 1st?
A darling lilac bouquet in a glass bottle held by a jaunty lime green grosgrain ribbon.
An existing mesh vase with a hanging chain is filled with leucojum and Virginia bluebells.
Hanging on an outdoor shower door(surprise!) is a sunny bouquet of daffodils, pussywillow and forsythia branches in a weathered tin basket bearing a cheerful morning greeting.
Not all May Baskets need to surprise on a front door. This dainty arrangement of tête à tête daffodils with muscari and scilla in a tiny vase is an intimate morning welcome on a bathroom cabinet door.
Paper cones created out of botanical wrapping paper are filled with a single stunning tree peony bloom(left) and a bundle of fragrant white lilacs(right) hung with pink satin ribbon.
A shed door gets into the spirit of May with a galvanized milk pail holding a bright bouquet of hyacinth, daffodils, pussy willow and forsythia tied on a vintage pitch fork adorning the door.
A classic “bouquet de muguet du premier mai”: Lily-of-the-Valley wrapped simply in brown paper and hung with a length of twine on a garden spade door knocker is my absolute favorite~Which bouquet was your favorite?
“Another May new buds and flowers shall bing: Ah! why has happiness no second spring?” Charlotte Smith