Happy Post-Solstice

A few years ago I was introduced to an excellent new holiday.  Maybe holiday is a bit strong but January’s a pretty dull month and coming off of a three day warming spell has me optimistic that winter might not go on forever… even if it does feel that way most of the time.

I first heard about ‘Post-Solstice’ over at the always inspiring macgardens.org, and it’s described as that unofficial point where the earth has tilted back towards the sun just enough to start warming this hemisphere back up again.  It takes a while to get things moving on this big old planet of ours, and although December 21st was the shortest day with the least amount of solar warmth hitting the Northern half, it’s not until one month later around January 21st that we start turning the tide back to warmer days.  To help with the celebrations this year there was a special treat.  The first snowdrop is up, popping out just hours after the rain melted the last snow and ice away from this spot.

winter snowdrop

A surprise in our January thaw, the first of this winter’s snowdrops.  Galanthus ‘Three Ships’ in case you’re wondering.

A lone snowdrop doesn’t make spring, and I’m sure I’ll be out there covering it up during the next arctic blast, but for now it sure does give a little bit of hope.  There are other sprouts as well but I’ll only bore you with one more photo.

winter snowdrop

More snowdrops showing signs of life.  I wish I could say the same for the winter-burned hellebore foliage but I’ve long given up on worrying about things like that. 

It’s nice to see things as anxious as I am to start the new gardening year.  We have already added just over thirty minutes of daylight to each day and that goes higher with every sunset and before we know it the whole adventure will start anew!

Enjoy your weekend 🙂

28 comments on “Happy Post-Solstice

  1. We’ve had another dusting of snow since our last thaw, but before the dusting I saw one tiny point of green in my warm microclimate garden (aka as the herb garden). Spring will come later here than where you are, but every thaw does increase the sense of approaching spring.

    • bittster says:

      Still think spring’s on the way? I just looked at the weather report and it sure leans more towards winter than spring! But the sun does feel good when it’s out.
      You’ll also have snowdrop sprouts soon. I have to give you a few of an early nivalis I have. I bet they would do well for you and I’d be interested in seeing if they flower earlier than the ones you have. I just have to convince myself to part with a few, I’m very selfish when it comes to the drops!

  2. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your garden looks like it is in the same phase as mine. The hellebores look horrendous but those little spikes of galanthus with those sweet little white buds fill ones heart with hope and excitement for the growing year to begin. I hope you have a great weekend too.

    • bittster says:

      I was just out last weekend looking at my own freezer burned hellebores. I had to laugh when I later saw someone posting a question on if it would harm them to cut green foliage off before spring. I never get to see healthy spring foliage, mine are always so dead looking I’ve considered cutting the leaves in fall just so I didn’t have to face those miserable springtime leaves.

  3. Peter/Outlaw says:

    How exciting that the new gardening year has begun! Come on spring! That toasted hellebore foliage looks sad but new growth and blooms will replace it soon!

  4. Christina says:

    I like the idea of this holiday. Perhaps we really should be celebrating.

    • bittster says:

      We could use a holiday about now. I heard Imbolc is celebrated about the same time and I might have to add this one to my calendar to make it more official.

  5. Eliza Waters says:

    A snowdrop! Wow, mine won’t show until March. I’m always thrilled when it is light at 5 pm again – that’s my marker. The corner is turned and we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • bittster says:

      My main snowdrop show usually doesn’t show till March either, but the last few years have been much earlier on average. I used to track these things back in the day and as recently as the 80’s in (now) zone 7 Long Island, you’d get crocus into April. Now they’re long over by then.
      I’m starting to see sunlight on my way to work. That’s my light at the end of the tunnel!

  6. Lisa says:

    It´s so nice to see spring coming! Enjoy your snowdrop!
    Best wishes,

  7. We’re seeing Snowdrops poking up as well, but no flower buds. I’d be nervous if there were buds – way too early.

    • bittster says:

      Yeah snowdrops in January make me nervous too. Last year they were all coming up in February and got demolished shortly thereafter. There’s always something….

  8. I like the Post-Solstice addition to the “calendar”! Somehow I always feel that on the actual winter solstice day, there should be more, well, drama somehow. 🙂 Snowdrops will hopefully be on the to-acquire list for next year though. I’m enough of a realist to know that I’ve got months and months of multiple sites-prep (site-preps??) ahead of me before I can even think of adding to the No Longer Temporary garden!

    • bittster says:

      So many celestial moments are just not all that exciting. At least you don’t have to stay up until midnight though!
      I’m sure you’ll move through the reclaiming of the garden with much more speed than you give yourself credit for. You’ve had more than a little experience in building new gardens out of nothing!

  9. Cathy says:

    I am noticing the days slowly lengthening too, and what a relief as it did seem particularly dark and grey again this winter. My little green snowdrop shoots are a little taller than yours, but no flowers showing yet, and the snow on the hellebores has melted enough for me to see lots of buds. 🙂 The next cold spell is on the way, so they will take their time, but it is good to see signs of life at last! Happy ‘post-solstice’ Frank!

    • bittster says:

      Nice that you’re seeing a little growth. Hopefully the sunshine will follow!
      My hellebores are still fast asleep and I hope they stay that way for a while. Both of the last two years saw them damaged by early warm spells followed by late freezes. I’m still hopeful for 2018 🙂

  10. Just got home from an event at 5:30 p.m. We got out of the car, looked at each other and noted it was still light out. A thrilling moment as you well know!

    • bittster says:

      I love those extra minutes of light! There was a glow on the horizon as I approached work Monday and each day adds a couple more. We’ll be outside in the sun again in no time 🙂

  11. Chloris says:

    Post solstice is a new one to me. Sunday felt like a turning point here, something intangible in the air. Three Ships has been and gone here so you must be a lot colder.

    • bittster says:

      Oh yes we’re colder. Three Ships has been covered with snow for the last week with more on the way for tomorrow. I should have found something to cover him up with to save the flower from too much damage, but things don’t always come together here 😉
      I’m beginning to think post-solstice is roughly the same as Imbolc. Imbolc sounds far more important, I might have to look into it a little more.

  12. I like the idea of a Post-Solstice holiday. But no snowdrops here yet; just slightly longer days. It will be spring before we know it. P. x

  13. Ian Lumsden says:

    I lost “Three Ships” for no reason I can explain. I checked out the big pot yesterday where they seem to have flourished and it was all soil. Narcissus Fly? Yours look great however. I love it when they peep out of the leaves and then Spring begins. It shows the difference in climate though. Ours have been out since beginning of January (in variety). But I bet you get more sun and warmth as the year progresses. I’ve just invested in some Autumn varieties. And I’ll look out to replace those sunken ships.

    • bittster says:

      I think our season passes much more quickly. There’s no gentle awakening over the weeks, it’s a frantic explosion between the last of the snow and the first heat wave!
      This is the first year for Three Ships. I’m not even sure it will survive the snow and cold, but I’m hoping for the best. Next year I might make an effort to keep it covered and protected a bit more.

  14. sweetbay103 says:

    It’s nice that the days are getting longer. Some of the daffodil buds are coming up,but the flowers in the garden currently are winter bloomers here: Japanese flowering apricot, winter honeysuckle, and witch hazel. In just another month we’re likely to start getting a lot more warm days though, and winter cleanup will begin in earnest.

    • bittster says:

      I love that you’re already seeing daffodils shoots coming up. That and the winter bloomers. I would love to have some winter honeysuckle giving the whole garden a springtime scent.
      There’s more snow again, but I did manage to do some pruning before it fell. It felt good being outside in the sun doing something.

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