The Perfect Garden Sundial

Written by Graham McClung

Is it possible for a garden sundial to tell perfect time?

The chances are very good if you can make one yourself, or get one custom made for your location. But both these alternatives will take either time or money.

The reason for this is that apart from adjustments for time zones and daylight saving , covered in another article, there are three things that must be done.

Compensating forrepparttar Earth's Path Aroundrepparttar 113289 Sun

Ifrepparttar 113290 earth followed a perfect circle as it revolved aroundrepparttar 113291 sun, life with sundials would be easy. But its path is elliptical or oval, and this causes errors of up to 16 minutes in sundial time at some times ofrepparttar 113292 year. The corrections are straightforward, and can be made using a table, or from a figure 8 line calledrepparttar 113293 Analemma, often seen on old globes and sundials.

Correcting for Latitude

Let's considerrepparttar 113294 components of a sundial for a moment. It consists of a dial on whichrepparttar 113295 time divisions, and sometimes other information is marked, and a triangular piece which sits vertically onrepparttar 113296 dial. It is calledrepparttar 113297 gnomon, pronounced nomon, andrepparttar 113298 part which castsrepparttar 113299 shadow ontorepparttar 113300 dial is calledrepparttar 113301 style.

For more information on how sundials work, including how to design your own, go to Google and type "how + sundial", withoutrepparttar 113302 quotes but withrepparttar 113303 +, inrepparttar 113304 search box.

To be accurate,repparttar 113305 angle betweenrepparttar 113306 triangular part ofrepparttar 113307 gnomon andrepparttar 113308 horizontal must berepparttar 113309 same asrepparttar 113310 latitude ofrepparttar 113311 place it is to be placed in (You can findrepparttar 113312 latitude - and longitude - of your home from any topographic map or good atlas).The arrangement and distance betweenrepparttar 113313 hour markings onrepparttar 113314 dial must also be correct forrepparttar 113315 latitude.

Hmmmm! This means that unless you are very lucky, that elegant sundial in your local garden supply shop will probably not showrepparttar 113316 time particularly well. It may be calibrated for an average latitude (commonly 45 degrees), which is good if your latitude is not too different. Or it may be purely ornamental and will really only be useful around noon.

Now of course this doesn't matter at all if you are looking for something pleasing torepparttar 113317 eye, and don't mind answering repparttar 113318 inevitable question "Does it tellrepparttar 113319 time?" But if you'd like your sundial to be more useful, make sure you find out which latitude it is calibrated to.

Once you know this, all you need to do to compensate is to work outrepparttar 113320 difference, and tiltrepparttar 113321 dial towards or away from due south depending on whether you need to add to or subtract fromrepparttar 113322 latituderepparttar 113323 sundial was designed for. There may be slight differences torepparttar 113324 ideal spacing ofrepparttar 113325 hour marks, butrepparttar 113326 apparent time will be reasonably close.

Grow Monster Cosmos

Written by Jenny Harker

Every year I plantrepparttar cosmos variety ?Versailles? by seed, as well as ?Seashell?, ?Sonata?, and ?Psycho?, in my garden (Cosmos bipannutus, Hardy to Zone 5). And every year my cosmos reach six feet or more in height, four feet in diameter, and drip with so many flowers it takes me hours to deadhead. Wantrepparttar 105435 same results in your garden? Read on: The cosmos thrives in drought conditions. But complete neglect will kill it while too much ofrepparttar 105436 opposite will produce, as my frustrated neighbor calls it, ?straggly weeds?. Here are my rules for growing towering Cosmos: 1.Choose a garden bed in full all-day sun. Cosmos love heat and haterepparttar 105437 shade. Good air circulation is always a plus. 2.Start from seed. Your plants will grow a stronger root system if seeded directly intorepparttar 105438 garden bed. You?ll get better results if you start from seed instead of transplants. 3.Sow your seeds in a bed of loose average soil at least a foot deep. Cosmos like to spread their roots. The biggerrepparttar 105439 root systemrepparttar 105440 biggerrepparttar 105441 plant. 4.Fertilize one time whenrepparttar 105442 plants are seedlings. After that fertilize ONLY if your plants look pale. Too much fertilizer causes few flowers to develop. 5.Keep reading forrepparttar 105443 one vital secret you need to grow towering cosmos, or ?her funky Christmas trees? as a neighbor?s boy once described.

When I plant I scatterrepparttar 105444 seeds across a well-worked sunny garden bed and then work inrepparttar 105445 seeds with my fingers (like tossing a salad) untilrepparttar 105446 seeds are approximately two inches deep. I then patrepparttar 105447 dirt lightly. Keeprepparttar 105448 bed moist but don?t drown your babies. Watering inrepparttar 105449 morning is best. It keepsrepparttar 105450 seedlings moist duringrepparttar 105451 warmest parts ofrepparttar 105452 day. If your seedlings dry out from heat or extreme wind duringrepparttar 105453 day then water once more. Watering at night can cause your seedlings to develop fungi, as will watering your lawn at night. Moisture plus warmth plus good air circulation is a must for seedlings.

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