May Flowers

Do April Showers Really Bring May Flowers?

Phyllis Inspiration 9 Comments

This past weekend, Birmingham got a bit of rain, and with it we got a gust of cooler weather. Generally, my preference is to have cold weather because I HATE to sweat, but I wondered about our delicate new blooms and if they would survive the chill. Each year, the weather is a little different, and I started think about the age-old saying “April showers bring May flowers.”

Our Perennials die off each fall and bloom again in the spring. Down here in Alabama, the new spring growth will bloom as early as March or April. We are lucky to have blooms so early; I know that many people will have to wait until May or after to see their brilliant flowers. This proves to me that it has more to do with the average temperature and sun exposure than how much rain the plants receive. So where does this saying come from?

According to , this saying can be traced all the way back to the mid-1500s. Apparently, an author named Thomas Tusser included in his writing collection, A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry, a poem that went like this:

‘Sweet April showers

Do spring May flowers’

This saying is believed to be a reminder that even the most unpleasant experiences, like heavy rains of April, bring new joys. To this day the saying is used as a lesson in patience, just as we will say things like “Many of life’s greatest things come only to those who wait.” The past few months I have had to learn this lesson again, we have waited for our new home to be finished and now that it is, I have reaped the reward of patience! Perhaps the saying is better used as a way for people to look forward to the warmer, summer months to get them through the cold, rainy days.

Is your garden in bloom?

Comments 9

  1. In Southern California, our wildflowers are definitely dependent on rain. But there are so many variables- and plants can’t read. So they do as they want, without shame of not being beholden to the calendar. We should feel the joy of whenever blooms brush our gardens with color.

  2. I’m with you on the not sweating thing! My “perfect world” would be 67 degrees – all the time!

  3. I can happily report that my garden is in bloom. Hydrangeas, daylilies, iris, agapanthus, chaste lilac and a new cutting garden with an array of perennials are putting a big smile on my face. After moving into our home 5 years ago and basically starting over with our garden, I can say that April showers have certainly brought May flowers. Oh, but patience is not one of my virtues so these blooms are especially welcome. I just purchased the Flowers and Gardens magazine the other day and can’t wait to grab a glass of iced tea and enjoy every page!

  4. I live in California…
    Our iris, lavender and Bird of Paradise are all lovely… as is the field of Statis…

    Spring!! Lovely spring!


  5. It has been an unusual Spring here in Colorado. Little to no snow and no rain until now. We had 70’s and 8o’s in April bringing all the bulbs up and blooming but then it turned cold plus it snowed this past week. I covered as many plants as possible and moved those in pots into the garage. The results is that some of the hostas were hurt but the tulips, bleeding hearts, wood iris and thrift are going crazy. My liliacs are young and not blooming yet but my next door neighbors have been beautiful and while sitting on the back porch with a glass of tea they were sending their wonderful scent all over my porch.

  6. Our lilacs were particularly lush and beautiful this April and first few days of May, but the heavy rains destroyed their blooms. We did enjoy them for awhile. Now the iris and daisies are blooming, but are a little slower in opening their beautiful buds due to the cold winds and rains we have been experiencing. I agree with you, Phyliss, that the amount of sun exposure is as important as the rain in determining when the blooms will appear. Have a lovely Spring!

  7. I live in Toronto, Canada and we have had a topsey-turvey year with regards to weather. We had a warm spell in February and now, the weather has been rainy and downright cold!! The tulips and daffodils have come out, as did the Japanese cherry blossoms and hostas, but not much else yet. As I am writing this, my husband is outside cleaning things up and preparing the garden…there is hope and anticipation…but now, it’s time I get him a hot cup of tea!

  8. Yes, ” look ahead” like the bible says to do in the book of Revelation because Jesus promised a lot of good things in life, esp. when we’re going through a lot of trials and tests. This gives us more faith, hope, and so much to look forward to to keep our spirit up.

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