Let’s Talk About Sundials

Posted by

Have you ever had, or used a sundial? A sundial is an outdoor device created to tell the time of day. The device essentially casts a shadow based upon the sun’s position in the sky. The sundial has hour-lines marked on it, and whether the shadow is cast on these lines will tell you what time of day it is. Sundials may have been used to tell time for centuries, but as it turns out we have so many ways to tell time these days that Sundials are actually quite unnecessary for real world use. That being said, sundials are still quite beneficial for several reasons:

  • Mathematical and historical studies - You can never learn too much about mathematics or history, sundials make a great resource for studying both.
  • Fun experiments with the kids. I recently had my kids navigate for us using an actual paper map, no gps. Why not do the same thing with the sundial and see how good their time telling skills are? I think I just came up with a new summer activity for us!
  • Garden Decor. Seriously, sundials have been around for so long, it just makes sense to have them out in the sun with our crops. Don’t you think?

The third thing there is what we are going to talk about a little bit today. These days, sundials are mass produced and quite inexpensive, so they make a great addition to anyone’s garden!

Do you have a sundial? Do you want one? There are some great places to shop for them including big box stores such as Target, Walmart or even Amazon. Find your favorites and figure out the perfect placement for them in your garden space. First and foremost, you need to make a decision. Are you wanting a decorative, non working sundial or a real working one? If you choose a decorative, non-working one, you can place the sundial anywhere you want.

If you are buying an actual working sundial, and you aren’t sure exactly where to place your sundial or how to set it or when, check out these tips:

  • Recognize that it is not an actual clock. You are not going to get a to-the-minute time out of this, so no, don’t use it to follow your schedule. (I figured that was worth mentioning)
  • If you have purchased a horizontal sundial, place your sundial in a spot that is completely level (be sure to check this with an actual level), additionally, this spot needs to be in full sun.
  • If you have purchased a vertical sundial, it should be in full sun on a level wall that faces south.
  • Be sure that your sundial is placed so that the show arm points toward “celestial north” or south in the Southern Hemisphere, not compass north.
  • If you are genuinely wanting your sundial to be accurate, you need to set it on of 4 days per year, because that is when sun time and clock time are in sync. Otherwise you can be off as much as 16 minutes. The following are the days when this should be done:
    • April 15
    • June 15
    • September 1
    • December 24.

So, what do you think? Are you ready to buy a sundial yet?

Once you get your sundial, be sure to grab some fun Sassafrass Products to further decorate your garden: We have lots of crafty items that will look great!

  • Paint Your Own Garden Gnome - gnomes are thought to bring good luck to your garden. these gnomes are especially lucky because they will be painted by a very special child! gnome include paintbrush & 8 paints. gift boxed.
  • Paint Your Own Garden Owl - whooo wants to paint? this owl is not only a hoot for the garden, but is so much fun to paint. owl include paintbrush & 8 paints. gift boxed.
  • Paint Your Own Garden Bunny - hop, hop, hop! our garden bunny will make any garden very hoppy! bunny includes paintbrush & 8 pastel paints. bunny is 7" tall.

If you have the kids helping you, be sure that they have the right tools to do gardening right:

  • the little cooks™ tool kit with herb pot - the kit includes a small whisk, wood spoon, rolling pin, wooden turner, large silicone spatula, small silicone spatula, measuring cups and spoons to give them an early lesson in the importance of accurate measuring. all of these necessary tools store compactly and easily in a windowsill herb pot.
  • bugs garden apron set - kids will bug you for this cute apron set! set includes: bug garden apron and matching gloves.
  • ladybug garden apron set - this set includes an embroidered ladybug apron and a pair of embroidered garden gloves. apron measures 24"l x 18"w and fits sizes 4-8. 100% cotton.

Well, my friends, you’ll have to excuse my exit, I’m off to do some sundial shopping!