Tag Archives: flowers

About Susan Aprill


Looking ahead to spring

Missing the warm weather yet? Now that we’re halfway through winter,  spring is right around the corner.

280 Main Street, around 1900

Take a look at this beautiful bed of asters in front of the house at 280 Main Street, built around 1897. The woman on the left is Martha Maglathlin. On the right you can see the fork of Wapping Road (left) and Pembroke Street (right), with the public watering trough at the point of the intersection.


Source: Image from the Local History Room Image Collection (IC7). 


“April showers bring Mayflowers,” especially lately with all the recent rain and particularly in Massachusetts, where these fragrant little blossoms are our state flower. Commonly called Mayflowers, trailing arbutus or less elegantly, the gravel plant, Epigaea repens can be found hiding under pine needles and poking through fallen leaves, blooming between March and May anywhere from Newfoundland west to Michigan and from Saskatchewan south to Kentucky. The plant lies low on the ground with rust-colored hairy stems and leathery green leaves.

Mayflowers, no date
Mayflowers, no date

This image comes from a lantern slide and was likely taken by Emily Drew.  For a color picture, look here.

The clusters of dainty, fragrant pink flowers make a delightful and memorable bouquet. In earlier days, when woods were more abundant and available to children, when traffic passed more slowly, especially on a “Sunday drive,” many a child added to her allowance by gathering Mayflowers and selling the bunches of them at the side of the road. They were also a popular item in the May-Basket one hung on Grandma’s door to surprise her.

Have you ever made a bouquet of them? These unidentified ladies in an undated Emily Drew cyanotype might have.

Women with flowers, no date
Women with flowers, no date