Happy Winter Solstice!

It’s the shortest day of the year, but I am happy in the knowledge that every day from here on out will bring more and more sunshine!

I hope you enjoy the winter solstice and celebrate it in a festive fashion!

I have a confession–

Lettuce, radicchio and basil starts under lights, Winter Solstice 2011

I have baby-sized basil, lettuce and radicchio growing under lights in the basement.  This gardening stuff is like an addiction, is it not?  Ever the gardening optimist am I.  I’ve already re-potted it up into four inch pots, and from there they’ll go into one-gallon-size pots.  We’ll see what comes of it–hopefully some useable comestables in the bleak winter months.

I’ve already got my eye on early spring as well . . .

Pelargonium hanging out under lights, Winter Solstice 2011

Pink and green will figure prominently after the Winter holidays around the house.  They will spend the winter and spring indoors under lights and in good natural light throughout the house, and then come May they will go back to their rightful spot in my hanging baskets and containers out in the garden.  These are the Energizer Bunny of flowers–they bloom all year long if you water and fertilize them.

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Happy Winter Solstice!

Today is Winter Solstice, and very thankfully, from now on the days will be getting longer.  It can be a grey, damp and drear time of year, but Winter Solstice gives you something to look forward to if you are a gardener.  The story of solstice celebrations goes back to the Celts, who didn’t really understand about astronomy, yet the Druids did.  So the Druids, wanting to keep the power over the people, when the people were scared because the light in the sky was waning, said they could help them out.  On the solstice, the Druids would go up to the top of a mountain and set a tree on fire (which is where we get the Christmas tree with lights motif), and then after this ceremony the people noticed that the days started to get longer, and thus they were happy, the Druids were happy (and sneaky), and the days got longer.

We celebrate a gardener’s solstice with greenery adorning the house, and a dinner of Northwest bounty, featuring a wonderful Louisiana gumbo with Dungeness crab and shrimp.  Good times!