It may be “the most wonderful time of the year” according to the songs, but most gardeners would certainly disagree! Freezing temperatures, minimal sunlight, empty garden center shelves, and a general lack of desire to be outdoors doesn’t exactly lend this time of year to be a gardener's favourite.
However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom! Let’s look at the Winter Solstice with a positive attitude and dive into what this event means for your garden and how we can make the best of it!
WHAT IS THE WINTER SOLSTICE?
To put it in most general terms: The Winter Solstice officially marks the first day of Winter and is also the shortest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere). The Winter Solstice indicates the day when the Earth is tilted at its maximum distance from the sun and thus the sun reaches the lowest point in the sky.
The word “solstice” is derived from the latin “solstitium” which is defined as “a moment when the sun stands still”. This makes the whole “it’s dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home from work” vibe of this time a year seem a little bit more romantic!
Some people celebrate the Winter Solstice as “the longest night of the year” which we think shows a great “glass half full” attitude! Yes, it is the shortest day but this also makes it the longest night! How inspiring! Except not ideal for gardeners who like to grow…well…plants, which quite enjoy sunlight.
HOW DOES THIS IMPACT YOUR GARDEN?
Knowing the amount of sunlight that you have to work with every day is essential for garden-based success so knowing when the Winter Solstice occurs is important! Today marks the shortest day of the year so let’s think about some plants that will thrive with minimal sunlight and potentially chilly conditions!
Many people also use the Winter Solstice as the official signal to start planning their Spring garden adventures. We are only a few months away from "seed sowing season" so now is the perfect time to sit down and start deciding which plants you are planning on cultivating in the future! It is also a fantastic time to start ordering seeds as many Garden Centre's will have holiday promotions happening at this time of year to encourage business in an otherwise slow time of year!
BEST PLANTS TO GROW AT THE WINTER SOLSTICE
Many plants actually have traditional and cultural significance around the Winter Solstice such as Mistletoe and Holly so today we are going to have a little look into the reasons why!
It is also worth noting that if these two seasonal plants aren't really your style, this is the perfect time of year to cultivate any hardy and frost-resistant shrubs and evergreen plants such as Boxwoods or Wintercreepers!
The Winter Solstice is known for its gloom and short days, but this is where Mistletoe truly shines! This berry-wielding plant blooms on other shrubs, trees, and plants during the time of year when most other plants are calling it quits. This display of fertility and prosperity lends itself to a very romantic notion and explains why so many people opt to kiss beneath Mistletoe during the holiday season!
This beautiful shrub has become synonymous with Holiday cards and settings around the world and with good reason! Holly is extremely resilient to cold and harsh weather conditions so the Winter Solstice is the ideal time to consider planting some Holly in your raised garden bed or planter box!
PERKS OF RAISED GARDEN BEDS DURING THE WINTER SOLSTICE
Having a Cedar Planters raised garden bed or planter box has a whole plethora of perks year-round, and the Winter Solstice is no exception! You can check out our full range of products here, we are certain you will find a raised garden bed that speaks to you!
Not only do our products make cultivating your own Winter plants an absolute breeze, they also make being able to maximize your sunlight as easy as pie! Once you have assembled your raised garden bed (but before you have filled it with soil!) you can easily pick it up and move it to wherever you have determined gets the most sunlight in your outdoor space!
Our raised garden beds and planter boxes are also made with the highest quality rot-resistant Western Red Cedar so not only do they elevate the look of your outdoor space, they also will be able to resist any harsh elements that mother nature can throw your way!