Garden Chick - Notes from the Garden

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer Solstice

It's Official! The summer solstice occurred yesterday marking the first day of Summer. Like most of you, I didn't need a calender to tell me that. Did I miss spring? Sweltering temperatures in the 90's with a heat index in the 100's has lingered here for the last week or so. We were out in the garden early yesterday morning to weed and water, and by 9:00 a.m. the heat was oppressive.

Sol +stice is derived from a combination of Latin words which mean "sun" and "to stand still". In the Summer Solstice, the sun reaches it's highest peak in the sky, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the year. The Summer Solstice
has been celebrated by civilizations for years, both Pagan and Christian.

Herbs and flowers played an important part in these rituals, believed to have magical powers.

The herb, St. Johns Wort (hypericum perforatum)) was thought to ward off evil spirits , and is often known by the name of chase-devil. The name St. Johns Wort came about after the Catholic Church established the Feast of St. John as an alternative to the pagan midsummer celebration.

Today, St. John's Wort is widely used to treat mild depression. The bright yellow flowers are often used in tinctures, tablets, capsules, and teas. A perinneal herb, hypericum perforatum can be grown in both sun and light shade. A wild growing weed in many areas, it will spread easily, and should be planted where it can be contained.
*The St. John's Picture is from

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