Central Virginia Organic Gardener

"And 'tis my faith that every flower enjoys the air it breathes." - William Wordsworth, 1798

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Solistice and Weird, Warm Fall

What a weird, warm fall it has been. It has been nice to go outside, but it has been a problem for some plants. Weeds are rampantly growing, just loving these cooler temps: I need to do some December weeding, a rarity! And, the photo above is from my front yard on the last full day of Autumn, Dec. 21. These daffodils will probably survive, but they will not bloom again come spring, and, if it gets too cold and icy, the green part may die back. In that case, the bulb may be too spent to ever come up again, as it will not have stored enough energy from photosynthesis. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for cooler weather and no more sprouting bulbs!

The solstice happens twice per year: the Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year and the Summer Solstice the longest day of the year. Today is the Day of the Winter Solstice, and 12:32 AM EST marked the entry into winter. The sun rides low in the sky in the northern hemisphere, though it is high in the sky in the south, hence the southern hemisphere enters summer today (and is often called the December Solstice there). Our Winter Solstice happens close to Christmas and has been associated with this holiday. Indeed, the focus on lights in the Christmas season may hark back to the craving for light during the darkest days of winter and the hope that light brings. The Winter Solstice is an important day for gardeners, it reminds us that the seasons are turning, that spring is on the long march back to us. Look for each day to be a bit brighter and a bit longer!

Happy Solstice!

Happy Gardening!

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