The hedgerows around the village are looking resplendent at the moment with the Hawthorn and the Cow Parsley (wild chervil) in full bloom.
A quick search of Hawthorn on the internet unearthed a multitude of interesting facts about this beautiful plant
- The word Haw is derived from Haga the Anglo-Saxon word for hedge.
We find it in hedgerows a lot because the thorns and dense foliage are good for keeping livestock in.
- It's also known as Quickthorn- from 'quickset hedging'. This is an ancient technique of creating an enclosure by setting cuttings directly into the earth.
Once rooted, they form a dense barrier.
- It's also known as May and apparently it's the only shrub to be named after the month it flowers in!
- It is also thought to be the origin of the Maypole and the song 'Here we go gathering nuts in May' is thought to refer to gathering knots (bunches) of mayflower rather than nuts (Ed: "nuts are harvested in the autumn every squirrel knows that!").
- It has many culinary uses including jelly or home made wine from the berries. We once tried making Hawthorn Leather, a natural sweet ' I think I'll stick to the Jelly Babies!
Also, if you like a bit of modern folk music check out the recent hauntingly beautiful song by the Northumberland folk group The Unthanks called Hawthorn on your preferred music streaming service.