I always know it's May because the lilacs are blooming. Even though I lived in an apartment complex as a kid, and you wouldn't expect nice plantings, we had pretty nice landscaping. Including a big lilac bush in the green space behind our building.
My mother's birthday was May 18 and she could always count on a bouquet for that day and usually for Mother's Day, too. The bush was huge and I could pick armfuls and never make a dent in the blooms.
When I finally bought a house of my own I was happy to find a big lilac bush growing there. And under the bedroom window. On warm nights with the window open, their spicy scent fills the room.
Later, we took down a row of very ugly pine trees along the end of our property and replaced them with lilacs of various colors, including this deep plum with white outlined petals.
I picked some this afternoon and filled a vintage glass vase I bought last year. The photo was taken on my screened porch but they'll come inside tonight. It's going to be cold again; it was 34 degrees this morning!