Blackthorn flowers are always a welcome feature of the spring. They eventually produce inky-dark fruits which may be used in the making of sloe gin. Blackthorn has an enduring reputation for its association with ancient lore, and contemporary ‘pagan’ websites regale the reader with its esoteric qualities. I tried eating its berries, but I found them rather bitter. The beverage from its fruit has a delicious-looking ruby-red hue, but at 25-30% alcohol by volume, it has never been high on my list of things to drink. Paganism and alcoholism aside, I think I’ll confine my interest to its charming flower. Blooms and blossoms are not merely nature’s way of ensuring plants are able to reproduce; they are a good God’s gift and bonus to all who would behold them. Whatever dark and crepuscular reputations we pin to plants, each one testifies to the Creator’s munificence.

Yes, God is good, all nature says,

By God's own hand with speech endued;

And man, in louder notes of praise,

Should sing for joy that God is good.

J.H. Gurney