Solstice ’22

The longest night of the year approaches and in theory it’s an easy ride from here to longer days and warmer temps… in theory at least.  From here on the days get longer, the sun gets stronger, but at this latitude it will still take a while for the thermometer to gain traction and the slide into the depths of winter to slow down and reverse.  That’s fine I guess.  Snow has arrived and it’s kind of soothing to have all the undone garden tasks tucked away and forgotten… for a few weeks at least 😉

fall elwesii snowdop

The fall snowdrop parade continues with these G.elwesii ssp monostictus from Montrose Gardens.  It’s been just warm enough to bring them on to perfection, even after the insult of a couple inches of snow on top.

Honestly I should think about protecting a few more tender things, such as the autumn snowdrops, from the cold which approaches.  Friday is forecast to start with pouring rain, thunderstorms and a high of 51F(11C), and then tumble down into snow squalls and a low of 8F(-13C) by the evening.  Exposed snowdrop flowers shall be freezer burnt.  Should be fun.  I’m sure gardeners, skiers, and white Christmasers alike are all wishing it were purely snow instead, and only municipal pencil pushers (and maybe a couple million holiday travelers) are happy for the warm start to the storm, but you get what you get.

longwood christmas 22

Christmas displays in the Longwood Gardens conservatory.  Friday presented itself as a snow-day so we braved a few miles of icy roads here in the mountains to escape South to balmy Philadelphia for the day.   

In either case Wednesday will be the longest night of the year, and I hope it finds you snug and cozy and ready for the holiday season.  It’s nice to have this break.  It leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy your winter garden, order NARGs seed exchange seeds which you don’t need, and inventory new snowdrops and map all their bed locations.  It’s going to be a busy winter 😉

21 comments on “Solstice ’22

  1. We are getting that same crazy weather–50°F (10°C) to 8°F(-13°C). It will be treacherous!

    • bittster says:

      I think we’re finally on the up side of the cold and it’s a matter of wait and see on what survived the shock and what didn’t. We went down to 1F from 50, always nice when the weather is even more extreme than they predict…

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    The poor plants won’t like the temperature whiplash, and neither will we. Happy Solstice, whatever the weather!

  3. Paddy Tobin says:

    We, southeast Ireland, haven’t had such cold nights as you; down to -5C was the coldest. The cold weather persisted for about ten days and held the snowdrops back considerably. That G. elwesii from Montrose looks like a good plant; nice clump!

    • bittster says:

      I was impressed by how well you did with your own cold spell. There was barely a complaint and it sounds like you were able to get a few nice walks in. I guess cold is easier on you than the heat!

  4. It’s f-ing cold here but I would be really nervous with that high of 50°F before such a drop in temps. Our high on Thursday is supposed to get up to 24°F and then the highs are all low single digits. Luckily we’ve got decent snow cover in most spots in the garden and more forecast. We’re warm and toasty and I’m on a cooking spree. Best wishes to you and your family for a pleasant and safe holiday.

    • bittster says:

      Staying inside, cooking and eating sounds like the best plan for these real cold nights. Here, other than a dusting at the end, we missed the snow and it was almost all just rain which fortunately was able to soak into the still-thawed ground. The cold was rough with the wind though and I won’t complain when things go warmer later in the week.
      Enjoy the holiday and all the best!

  5. Lisa Rest says:

    I would prefer rain to the blizzard we are about to receive. Funny how it’s warm enough to snow right now and 33 degrees feels quite warm compared to the imagined predicted windchill. It occurred to me this morning that it’s time to start watching for those incremental longer days but I suspect weather to distract me from that perception for quite a while. Safe and cuddly holidays to you.

    • bittster says:

      Well it looks like you received just as much cold and wind and blowing snow as was expected. Hope you weathered it well and can get out again once things settle down and warm up a bit. This sounds like good inside projects weather and hopefully a little chirping in the background keeps things as cheery as usual.
      Happy holidays!

      • Lisa Rest says:

        Happy holidays to you, too, Frank! Yes I feel like I’m playing hooky staying indoors so much. We didn’t get a lot of snow, just a few inches at best, so we were lucky with that. And it looks like we have rain in our forecast for the weekend so that will definitely clear away the snow, salt and ice for … mud! 🙂

  6. Happy holidays; stay warm and healthy! (I am not looking forward to tomorrow’s Deep Freeze either!)

    • bittster says:

      Hope everything there made it through the cold and you were able to enjoy an excellent holiday weekend. We will be in the area mid week and I think it will be just warm enough for a walk on the beach in the sunshine, something I miss here in the woods and mountains.

  7. Cathy says:

    The solstice kind of passed me by this year what with one thing and another, so it’s nice to be reminded daylight hours are on the up from now on. I just looked it up on my calendar though and we should have a mere 6 minutes extra daylight by the end of this week! Better than nothing. 😉 Hope the cold spell hasn’t done too much damage Frank. We had a cold spell before you this year (-14°C for several nights mid December). Hoping Spring will arrive by mid January. 🤣

    • bittster says:

      Haha, I completely enjoyed the extra 6 minutes last week but bringing that total to 12 or so this week makes me want to dig out the planting trowel 😉
      Actually it’s quite warm again as the weather which tried to kill everything last week has apparently changed its mind. I might spread some mulch this afternoon and look over the mushy snowdrops… and the unaffected ones as well!

  8. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    I am way behind in reading this post. I hope your snowdrops aren’t desiccated from the big blow that brought so much snow and cold misery to the area. We only received about 4″ of snow but the wind chill was -30 for quite some time. Single digits for several days high temps. Winter just had to show its self. Now it is to be 67 possibly by the end of this week. Mud season will slip in until the next big chill.
    Best wishes for the holidays. You surely survived the Christmas rush. Now hang on for the New Year bash. Cheers…

    • bittster says:

      I almost took a dive yesterday as I was moving through the yard. You’re not kidding about a few days of mud season sneaking in!
      Hope everything there weathered the cold just fine. Things here look better than expected but a few sprouts look troubling… but not worth worrying about until March proves they’re dead. In any case I’m sure the spot will be filled again come May, thats how thing usually roll here 😉
      Happy New Year!

  9. pbmgarden says:

    Late wishes to you for Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas and ah, jumping ahead, Happy New Year! I’ve been trying to catch up a little on blogs after months of needing to have my attention elsewhere. The snowdrops are lovely.

    • bittster says:

      Haha, I don’t think you can jump ahead too far during the holiday season, it’s a happy new year right back at you and I hope things there are well and full of hope for the new year.

  10. Annette says:

    I knew there’d be snowdrops in your garden! Hope you didn’t get that terribly cold weather with temperatures down to -50°C, gosh, can’t even imagine what this means. It’s been very mild for the past while here and the first flower on Magnolia stellata has opened. The Chimonanthus is full of flowers too, gorgeous scent. Wishing you and your loved ones all the best for the new year!

    • bittster says:

      Thanks Annette 🙂 Fortunately we were far from the most brutal cold and now it’s warmed up again and feels more like March. All month has been warm and I’m somewhat enjoying it although a nice snowstorm wouldn’t bother me in the least.
      I always forget how much warmer you are in a regular year let alone a mild one, and I can’t imagine magnolias yet! I’ll have to enjoy the snowdrops first and you’ll be picking roses before our magnolias bloom.
      All the best for your 2023!

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