We all grew up hearing the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” It gave us something to look forward to during the rainy, muddy season that follows the cold, snowy season. But where did the phrase come from?
I love learning about the origins of things—of anything. Nothing is out of my interest zone. With the current rain showers providing the yearly gloomy mood that we just cannot escape from, I thought I’d do some digging and see what I could find about this common phrase.
It’s believed that the popular saying first appeared in the 1600s. It went something like this:
Sweet April showers
Do bring May flowers
It’s a saying that brings optimism into an otherwise gloomy day. It reminds us that, while things are bad now, they’ll get better later. I believe that we need to struggle in order to truly appreciate the benefits of the good and the easy.
The saying is also believed to have been influenced by the proverb “March winds and April showers bring forth May flowers,” which was recorded first in 1886.
April showers are something that is also really common in the UK and Ireland. It’s a little more aggressive there with the weather changing suddenly from comfortable sunshine to winter-like sleet and snow.
As far as origins, that was all I could find on the phrase, but I didn’t stop there. I thought, how could people use these April showers to bring some life to their homes?
So, if we take the phrase literally—how can we take advantage of April showers and bring about the best May flowers? There are some things you should plant in April if you missed opportunities to plant those that needed to be in the ground sooner.
Now is the time to plant some grass. If you’re looking to freshen up some areas or add to your lawn, get started on that this month. Plant trees and shrubs now, too, and make sure to trim any dead flowers and plants.
One of my favorite flowers can be planted this month—sunflowers. These need little maintenance after they are planted, so you can focus on preparing your garden. Calendula and wildflowers are great for April planting as well.
In April, you can also start planting the following in your garden: radishes, lettuce, swiss chard, spinach, carrots, beans, peas, and more.
If it’s just too rainy outside to do some gardening, bring your work inside. You can work with interior plants—trimming and grooming your year-round, indoor potted plants. If you don’t have any, take a different route and focus on your spring cleaning!
Kayleigh is a content writer with a BA in technical writing/literature and an MA in creative writing. When she’s not at work writing, she’s at home writing, reading, or binge-watching television shows… for research, of course. A big do-it-yourselfer and crafter, Kayleigh loves testing out projects and gifting them to friends and family—all in preparation for when she owns her own home one day and decorates with her own personal creations. Her work has appeared on The Writing Cooperative and as an Honorable Mention in East Meets West American Writers Review.