I am enjoying Wendy Johnson's wondrous book, Gardening at the Dragon's Gate, At Work in the Wild and Cultivated World.
She is in charge of the gardens at Green Gulch Zen Center near where I live. I know internally the quality of what their gardens produce.
We are nearing the summer solstice. She writes of noticing that "the summer and winter solstice times are the two moments of the year when the sun appears to stand still." The Latin word sol-stice actually means: sun-standstill.
She gardens with the phases of the moon.
"The celestial push and pull of sun and moon influence how I work in the garden with plants; I sense their force pulling and pushing on my own blood as well. For the last two decades I have sown garden seeds in the bright of the moon, doing most of the seeding two days before the new moon. I have seen how quick-germinating seeds sprout most-readily in that two-week-long period of waxing moonlight from new to full moon. I also sow the slower germinating seeds, those that take a month or more to sprout, just before the full moon, when there is a complete month for the seeds to experience the cycle of lunar pull.
These are simple and ancient principles: seeds sprout best during the bright of the moon, while during the dark period of the moon it is advisable to minister to the underground roots of plants, which is why many gardeners transplant seedlings in the dark of the moon. This is also a good time to prune, weed, and divide perennial plants."
I believe most of us may notice the pull of the full moon but I see now that it is important to become even more sensitive to the phases of the moon as we and the earth move through the seasons.
She writes that "Many earthbound traditions associate the seasons themselves with the four great elements, also clearly represented in the physical form of plants. Spring is expressed in moving water, or as the sap flow rising and falling in green stems; summer, in the warm air element rustling in the wind-pollinated corolla of June sunflowers; autumn, with the ripening fire encased in every seed and fruit; and winter, in the deep roots of plants that dive down into cool, dark earth."