For Hudson resident Shelli Erck, May Day is a longtime tradition. “When I think of May Day, I think of when I was in school,” she says. “I received baskets in school, [and] it’s always left a fun impression on me.” Now, Erck, owner of Hudson Flower Shop, creates and sells May Day baskets.
“May Day baskets have been around since Roman days, and they started as a tribute to the goddess Flora. There was dancing, food, etc.,” she says. “Many countries have adopted different versions since then ...”
May Day baskets—or just May baskets, whatever you prefer!—come in two versions: Traditional larger baskets are filled with floral arrangements and additional items like chocolates, treats or even small toys; or cones, which often get hung on the doorknob and are filled with smaller flowers. Erck says, “Both are popular. It depends on how much effort you want to put into the May Day basket.”
Popular flowers include daisies, tulips, daffodils—“Things that shout ‘spring!’” Erck says—plus longtime favorites like azaleas or amaryllis, blooming or green plants. “I also really love freesias, which has a pretty fragrance,” she says.
Though a flower shop owner, Erck also likes to add fun surprises to the baskets whenever possible. “Any type of berries or blooming branch, like cherry blossoms or apple blossoms, that’s beautiful to add into the basket,” she says. “If your neighbor has kids, you can put little toys, like jack and balls, in the basket.”
May Day is a time to celebrate spring, and the celebration is having a surprising resurrection in the last few years. “People are looking for ways to connect,” Erck says. “[They’re] delivering baskets to their family and friends that they haven’t seen in a while or can’t see on a regular basis … It’s really a nice revival for the May Day basket.”
Spring in Bloom
May 1 isn’t the only spring day to celebrate with flowers—commemorate spring at its earlier holiday, Easter. “Easter is very similar to [May Day] in terms of florals,” Erck says. The most popular flower you’ll see on the tablescape is tulips (of course!), but daisies and daffodils are other popular picks. “The bright yellows and whites with the orange centers … It’s bringing that pop of color into your house that might’ve been missing for a while,” she says, also noting that hyacinths are a personal Easter favorite.
Holidays aside—flowers are a lovely surprise for anyone and keep our homes looking (and smelling!) fresh. Purple and pink matthiolas, bright blue delphiniums, hot pink spireas and white ginestras are beautiful floral picks to keep around in spring. “All the colors ... they’re gorgeous,” Erck says.
As for Erck’s personal favorites? She says, “I own a flower shop, so it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite!” But if it came down to the wire? “I love poppies ... I love tuberose, a tropical flower, because of the fragrance. They smell like Hawaii … If I had to choose a third, it would be a peony. I really love them in springtime,” she says.