What to Notice In Your Winter Solstice Garden , DECEMBER 2010

I know this is a crazy-busy week for many folks, and you don’t need another thing to think about, but I just wanted to remind you that December 21st was the Winter Solstice.  Often referred to as the “shortest day of the year” or “the first day of winter”, the Winter Solstice is one of four cardinal events in our journey ’bout the sun each year. I encourage you to take some time out from the hustle-bustle over the next couple of days to go to your garden around mid-day.  Take note of how the sun has shifted in your garden from last season to this.  You may also observe how the flora respond to the subtleties of the long, golden light of winter. Notice how deep the shadows are on the north side of a hedge or structure. Pause to discover just how far into your south-facing porch the golden, winter  light stretches.

This Season of Light is one extreme of the cycle, the Summer Solstice will be the other.  If you pay attention, you can watch the passing of seasons the way you use a sundial to mark the passage of days. Return to this practice of pausing to observe your garden on the following occasions through the year:

Ground Hog’s Day, the Vernal Equinox, Easter/Passover, May Day, Summer Solstice, August Monday, Autumnal Equinox, Halloween/All Saints’ Day, and lo, you will have returned to the Winter Solstice.

You will be amazed at how much you will learn about your garden, and maybe about yourself !