A time of change.
For those of us in the Southern Hemisphere, the shortest day and longest night are nearly passed. For you in the Northern Hemisphere the long days are now getting shorter.
4:24 PM on Wednesday, 21 June in NZ
Down-under, we look forward to a resurgence of the life force of Spring approaching. Each day is a little bit longer. Each night, a little bit shorter. Yet the weather gets colder before the sun warms the ground enough for seed-sowing to be successful.
This is a challenging time for gardeners – or at least for me. I really want to sow seeds, to start the new season’s growth. Yet the open ground is too cold for seeds to germinate and grow well. Instead they sit and shiver – and if I do try sowing in the cold times, they frequently rot or get eaten by beasties instead – which defeats the purpose.
I am much better off being patient and waiting but I don’t want to! My intellect knows this but I really want a symbol that light, life-force and growth are returning after the time of longer darkness.
I know that seed sowing at this time is really only an option in a sheltered place – a glass house, tunnel house, conservatory, in pots on a sheltered patio or deck; or even the kitchen window-ledge. I can have the symbol I want when the ground outside is still way too cold. It lifts my spirits just to have something growing.
I think this effect is a strong contrast with the month before the solstice when darkness is much more than light. Sometimes it can feel as though darkness is all there is. For me this is a time of introspection, of looking on the dark side. I can fall into depression unless I keep watch on myself, knowing it is an effect of the time of year rather than me alone. After the solstice my heart lifts, my enthusiasm grows, I look forward with interest. So different!
And sowing seeds is an affirmation of light, life and growth. Gardeners must be optimists – or we’d never try to grow anything!
Here’s to the new Spring!
May you and your garden flourish,