Winter Solstice Reflections from a Gardener's Perspective

comments (1) December 21st, 2012

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cookinwithherbs susan belsinger, contributor
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Our annual solstice bonfire--we toss a small handful of cornmeal into the flames--first to get rid of things from this past year which we no longer want to hang onto--and then to wish for things in the year to come. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.
Ahh yes, the work of the woodpile, which seems to be never ending this time of year. This is hard work, however, the fruits of our labor--this woodpile makes me feel truly rich--I am thankful for the abundance gathered from the forest.
As I was putting away flower pots and flats at the end of the season during garden clean-up, I thought hhhmmm... what if I stacked the pots this way...
With a string of lights near an outdoor outlet, I have a flowerpot holiday tree!
A few prunings from my rosemary in the greenhouse makes for some mini-wreath ornaments.
The baking of holiday cookies is part of the fun of gift giving for me.
Conifer for a sweet tooth.
This new pointsettia cultivar Strawberries and Cream is a miniature with asymmetrical and oddly variegated leaves.
Although it may be cold and bleak outside, there are lots of fun things going on inside the greenhouse--I keep many of these holiday favorites year round and try to get them to bloom again: pointsettias, amaryllis, rosemary, cyclamen and Christmas cactus.
Today, I went out and gathered greens from under the row cover--mind you it is past mid-December in my Maryland zone 7 garden--and it was snow flurrying as I harvested arugula, chard, kale, cilantro, sorrel, parsley, mizuna and mustard. This is truly a gardeners delight this time of year!
Just a few weeks ago, I brought in flats and filled them with soil mix and amendments and sowed salad greens. These baby seedlings sprouted in about 7 days. Having my own spinach to harvest in my greenhouse in January is so satisfying!
Here is real kitchen wealth... garden abundance... this a shelf in my coldroom. Homegrown and homemade from garden to kitchen--these are gifts that I love to give and that others enjoy receiving.
Our annual solstice bonfire--we toss a small handful of cornmeal into the flames--first to get rid of things from this past year which we no longer want to hang onto--and then to wish for things in the year to come. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.Click To Enlarge

Our annual solstice bonfire--we toss a small handful of cornmeal into the flames--first to get rid of things from this past year which we no longer want to hang onto--and then to wish for things in the year to come. Click on other pix to enlarge and read captions.

Photo: Susan Belsinger

Once again, the winter solstice is here, a day where the length of night and day are equal. Although it is considered the first day of winter, a time for turning inward and reflections on the past year and the year ahead--from this day forward, our days will be lengthening and brightening. (And rather appropriately, my first seed catalog arrived today!)

Tonight I will attend an annual Solstice Celebration in my neighborhood, which includes a potluck, a big bonfire with a ceremonial gathering around it. I traditionally make a large pot of black bean chili which I have been cooking most of the day. This day truly sets of the holiday season for me and along with the seasonal celebrations and the feeling of winter hibernation allows me pensive thoughts.

Besides being thankful for an abundant year, the sharing and storing of garden bounty, and the cycle of the seasons, the photos included here are gardener-inspired, or a few of my favorite things to share and do for the holiday season and the cold weather ahead. Wishing you and yours a bountiful holiday season!


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posted in: winter solstice, greenhouse gardening, gardening in winter, gardener's reflections

Comments (1)

Sweeds writes: You should do some research on the winter solstice.

"the winter solstice is here, a day where the length of night and day are equal"

What? ?
Posted: 2:33 pm on December 26th
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