In a Vase on Monday: Winter solstice 2020

People were told not to travel to Stonehenge to watch sunset/sunrise on the Winter Solstice this year, but English Heritage (who look after the site) set up a live feed on their Facebook page so that everyone around the world could share in the event.

So this morning, five minutes after sunrise (oops), I tuned in to see this:

stonehenge winter solstice1

Yes, as you can see, it was a murky morning, with no chance of sun. Never fear, the solstice happens regardless of weather, so it is still the shortest day for the northern hemisphere and we can look forward to more daylight from now on, hurray!

On to other celestial events, it’s been raining most of the day, so sadly there is not going to be a sighting, for me, of the Great (Jupiter/Saturn) Conjunction 2020 tonight either (although again the event is being broadcast live e.g. here). Maybe you’ve been lucky?

So, let’s forget about all that and enjoy a nice vase of flowers. I am joining Cathy for her weekly meme. Check out her blog, RamblingintheGarden, for her most recent post.

Here’s my vase (displayed with some homemade hazelnut star biscuits – first attempt today πŸ˜‰ ) :

vase solstice 1

The flower arrangement is based around spikes of that wonderfully furry salvia, salvia leucantha, which are still flowering happily in the greenhouse. The matching furry, backing foliage is phlomis fruticosa. I’ve picked a couple of the very last roses in the garden for contrast and a stem of a beautiful, crimson kaffir lily, Hesperantha coccinea.

vase solstice 2

Erigeron annuus is the daisy scattered about the vase and there are added purple and blue tones from a last larkspur flower, a protected Salvia ‘Amistad’ plant and a blue clary sage from the border.

vase solstice 3

Around the neck I’ve placed a few leaves of heuchera ‘Midnight Rose’.

However, I’ll leave you with a last, haunting view from Stonehenge from this morning:

stonehenge winter solstice2

Fingers-crossed that we are turning a corner all round. Take care all!


About Frogend_dweller

Living in the damp middle of nowhere
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17 Responses to In a Vase on Monday: Winter solstice 2020

  1. Eliza Waters says:

    Haunting image indeed, only the black birds (crows, ravens?) there instead of the usual crowds. What times these are.
    I love that you still have flowers to glean from your garden. The salvias are such stalwart plants. And you have a rose as well, it is pretty with the crimson kaffir lily.
    Now we start heading back to the sun and summer days – happy Solstice!

    • Thanks Eliza, happy solstice to you too! Not sure about the birds. On the clearest image I saw, they looked like rooks. I am amazed that we still have some summer flowers around. They are mostly in sheltered places and although they are not perfect, they are still going.

  2. Cathy says:

    Crikey – you wouldn’t guess it was the third week in December when looking at your vase, Allison! I know you say the salvia was in the greenhouse, but how come your other blooms areen’t soggy? I have buds and even blooms on some roses, but none of them anythint but wet balls of petals. You didn’t mention your teeny display of offcuts – are they in an eggcup? Definitely not the right sort of day for viewing sunrises or great conjunctions, sadly – but it was good to see the Stonehenge pictures and the celestial link (bit too long to watch all the way through!)

    Thanks for your post and best wishes for this week and the year ahead

    • Yes, I can’t believe the number of flowers hanging on, while others are complete mush. A little bit of protection seems to be making the difference. The small side branches are in a shot glass. I find it hard to throw the offcuts away! Glad you looked at the links, I was just amazed to find these resources available. Have a good Christmas!

      • Cathy says:

        I seem to permanently have a little vase of some offcut or other on the kitchen window sill and wouldn’t want to throw them away either. My Mum in the Inner Hebrides says the clouds lifted just in time for her to see the Great Conjunction – lucky her!

  3. shoreacres says:

    I saw Stonehenge just last week — that is, I saw a replica of the place in Ingram, Texas. It’s quite a sight, although somewhat reduced in size. I visited your Stonehenge years ago at the winter solstice. That was before access was in any way restricted, and it was quite an experience. I’d thought to repost my piece about the visit this year, but life got in the way. Next year!

  4. Believe it or not there is a replica of Stonehenge here in Aotearoa! Not quite the same….

  5. Cathy says:

    Magical to see Stonehenge with nobody around it, just like it was when I was a child… we used to drive past it on our way to Devon to visit an Auntie, and there was not even a car park in those days. We have a photo somewhere of me and my sister sitting or standing on one of the stones! πŸ˜‰ Yes, let’s hope things will turn for the better soon. Your vase is amazing for December! So many flowers and fresh foliage still. And those biscuits look good too. πŸ˜ƒ

  6. Sue says:

    Wow, love those pictures of Stonehenge. What a great idea to set up the live feed so everyone could see it. I was supposed to go there back in June on my trip of a lifetime to the UK but covid happened and my trip was cancelled. Now who knows when I’ll be able to travel over there.

  7. pbmgarden says:

    Beautiful flowers. The salvia is outstanding and wow. Love that lily. Happy solstice.

  8. Pazlo says:

    Two thumbs up all around.
    From the ancient site to the flowers to the biscuits!
    A Merry Merry Christmas to you.


    • Seeing Stonehenge has put me in mind of searching out our local barrows and ancient monuments, so it is somewhat frustrating to be in lockdown! Fun to be planning though. Hope you had an enjoyable Christmas and best wishes for 2021!

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