The Origin of April Showers

Ironically, although April has arrived, bringing along the term “April Showers,” California has already displayed the weather patterns of summer with sweltering afternoons rather than rain, still gradually recovering from drought. However, one question I wondered about was what brought this term April Showers?

The sterotypical belief of April is that “April Showers bring May Flowers,” implying that the rainy season has arrived and it is the perfect time to plant your flowers! But this saying actually originated since 1157 in a short poem titled, “A Hundred Good Points of Husbandry” by Thomas Tusser, which says,

“Sweet April showers
Do spring May flowers”

Incredibly, this phrase has been echoed throughout many centuries, even perpetuating modern society through the belief that April is the time to don rain boots, umbrellas and plant flowers to bloom in May!

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And another question is: is this saying true? Although not entirely relevant to California, rain does have an effect on timing and abundance of flowering, said David W. Inouye, a biology professor at the University of Maryland, College Park. Inouye, who has studied bloom times in the Rocky Mountains, noted that some plants flower at the start of a rainy season and that some species might flower a second time in late summer after another good soaking. Therefore, this phrase may hold some merit after all; however, you might have to search for a wet season and the resulting May flowers elsewhere from California!

This was just my spontaneous thought of the day; I believed this phrase was fitting for the month, and the idea simply did “spring” on me! 🙂

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