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April Traditions

There is some uncertainty over where the name “April” came from, but one theory is that it evolved from the Latin festival word “aperire” meaning “to open”. This is quite possibly due to all the new flowers growing and buds opening again after the cold winter months.

The traditional flower for April is the Sweet Pea. The sweet pea is said to have been first cross-bred in Wem, Shropshire by Henry Eckford in 1887 (for more on Eckford's contribution to the world of horticulture, and the sweet pea itself - please see here. The Wem website boasts that it is “home of the modern sweet pea”, and even has an annual Wem Sweet Pea Festival.

Eckford is noted by many as having revolutionised the sweet pea, with his cross-breeding he made sweet peas into the larger flower we know today, with a variety of colour formations. However, the actual origins of the sweet pea (although disputed) do go back much further than Eckford's cross-breeding in 1887. The first written record of them appears to be when a member of the order of St. Francis (Francisco Cupani) wrote of seeing them in Sicily in 1695. Still to this day, there is a variety available known as the Cupani, with purple upper and deep blue winged under petals. (Pictured here)

The Diamond is the gemstone for April, and thus is the birthstone for those born in this month. It is a traditional gift for those born in this month to receive a piece of jewellery containing a diamond (although I think women born in any month would appreciate this equally!) It is considered good luck to wear your birthstone, and the “luck” which the diamond is said to bring includes: good luck with relationships and increased inner strength.

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