Gardening Vivian | 02 Jun 2011 05:39 am

Sundials – Consider Buying a Sundial

Have you considered a sundial as a feature in your garden?

Long before the age of clocks, our ancestors needed to consider the time. Time was important in travel, how far you had gone in a certain time mattered, particularly if you had to get back home before sundown. And therein lay the answer to the problem – the Sun. As it carved its path across the sky, it cast a shadow, and as the sun moved, so did the shadow. Could this movement be measured? And could it be divided into periods of time.

To our ancestors, time as we know it today wasn’t quite so “necessary” Darkness, daylight, and the amount of time in between each would have been enough. Rudimentary marks between when the Sun first cast a shadow and when the sun went down could have be divided into time elements, hardly today’s hours and minutes, but important none the less.

Today, sundials are far more sophisticated in their design, creating a fine feature within a garden, but they still use the basic principles of sun movement measurement, albeit in tune with today’s time measurements. They still feature the Gnomon, the shadow stick which provides the shadow position to tell the time. The Gnomon has developed from a basic stick, to an ornamental angled feature, which not only looks nicer, but provides for better accuracy.

Over time, the sundial features have changed from a very basic flat plate design, to a complex and very accurately marked timepiece, the plate can often be rotated with the seasons. Often Sundials will now include Zodiac signs, sunrise and sunset marks, and also compass directions.

As an ornamental feature or a fully functional measurer of time, sundials are more fun than a watch or a clock, and at one with mother Earth.

Never needs winding, never breaks down and allows you to track the ever changing seasons

Comments are closed.