Some people have Dept. 56 collection. I have a Lilliput Lane Collection.


It all started when I saw that little house in a Carroll Reed catalogue years ago. Usually, the catalogue only advertised fine quality clothes but in one of their catalogues, I noticed a Lilliput Lane house. I fell in love with the English cottage and that started my Lilliput Lane collecting. I am an anglophile and I just love these cottages with thatched roof. My children started giving me a Lilliput Lane cottage for Christmas. Then the garden center near my home in Long Island started selling them and they ran a sale after Christmas for half price. That was when I started buying the bigger cottages. Now, I have 19 cottages and two churches. Later on I got a mailing from Lenox China selling castles. I decided to buy two of them, the Neuschwanstein castle and the Falkenstein castle. I bought some pine trees and then started displaying my collection every Christmas season.


IMG_1170 IMG_1171

Merry Christmas!

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at






Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming

Lo, how a rose e’er blooming,

From tender stem hath sprung!

Of Jesse’s lineage coming,

As men of old have sung;

It came, a flow’ret bright,

Amid the cold of winter,

When half spent was the night.


Isaiah ‘twas foretold it,

The Rose I have in mind,

With Mary we behold it,

The Virgin Mother kind;

To show God’s love aright,

She bore to us a Savior,

When half spent was the night.


This lovely hymn was originally published in 1582 in Gebetbuchlein des Frater Conradus whose German words “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” were inspired by the Song of Solomon, 2:1 referring to Mary: I am a rose of Sharon, a lily of the valleys. The words and music appeared in Katholischer Geistlicher Kirchengesang in 1599. Among the many English adaptations, the best known is by Theodore Baker (1851-1934).


Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at




The story of The Iron Butterfly begins

butterfly_frontEighty-seven years ago today, on Dec. 22, 1928, the story of The Iron Butterfly begins. Regina Buendia’s husband suffers a stomachache and the next day, two days before Christmas, he dies.

The Iron Butterfly is a gripping tale about the intense devotion and ordeal of Regina Buendia, a young mother who suddenly finds herself all alone and penniless with nine young children to support after her husband dies. Facing a bleak future, she has to find a way to tackle a male chauvinistic society where men still rule the business world. Will she be able to break through the barrier?

As the Great Depression affects the colonies, Regina Buendia is now faced with new concern – how to survive with business suffering and money being so tight. As her children grow up, she is faced with new dilemma about her children’s changing attitudes towards marriage.

Just as Regina Buendia thinks she is getting ahead, a major natural disaster happens with terrible consequence to follow. Then her problems become insignificant compared to what is about to happen – the attack on Pearl Harbor and how the war in the Pacific affects their very existence.

The Iron Butterfly is an inspiring story of faith, hope and daring ambition. Get your copy today. Available at


Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday!

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at




Deck the HallsToday, the Christmas tree is the highlight of our Christmas festivities.  Topped with a star, and adorned with lights and ornaments, it is a part of the beauty and meaning of the Christmas season.

How did the Christmas tree come to play such an important part in the observance of Christmas?  There is a legend that comes down to us from the early days of Christianity in England.

One of those helping to spread Christianity among the Druids was a monk named Wilfred (later Saint Wilfred).  One day, surrounded by a group of his converts, he struck down a huge Oak tree, which, in the Druid religion, was an object of worship.

As the Oak tree fell to the ground, it split into four pieces, and from its center there grew a young Fir tree, pointing a green spire toward the sky.

The crowd gazed in amazement.  Wilfred let his axe drop, and turned to speak.

“This little tree shall be your Holy Tree tonight.  It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of the Fir.  It is the sign of an endless life, for its leaves are evergreen.  See how it points toward the heaven.  Let this be called the tree of the Christ Child.  Gather about it, not in the wilderness, but in your homes.  There it will be surrounded with loving gifts and rites of kindness.”

And to this day, that is why the Fir Tree is one of our loveliest symbols of Christmas.



Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at


DECK THE HALLS the simple and inexpensive way




“Deck the halls with boughs of holly” sums up the mood in every household everywhere for the next few weeks. Decorating for the holidays sometimes can be so daunting, time consuming and worst of all expensive. It should not be that way.

I used to live in a century-old Victorian house and for the exterior decoration, I had blue lights on a swag of greens with a wreath in the middle on the porch railings. A wreath of greenery with a few sprigs of berries, pine cones and some red flowers in a florist vial with a large ribbon is a fresh welcome sign at your door. Swags of greenery with berries and silver and gold grapevine draped at the stairway banister add to the festive mood. To deviate from the traditional mistletoe, you can make a red rose kissing ball by inserting cut red roses into a water-soaked sphere-shaped oasis and hanging it with a green ribbon. Several big red or blue ornaments in a large silver bowl make a great statement on your coffee table or on the hall table. Citrus fruits studded with cloves, wrapped with tulle and tied with colorful ribbons make wonderful pomanders and displayed in an attractive bowl.

For an innovative arrangement, pick a clear glass vase and fill it with cranberries and top it off with white roses. Red and white or gold and blue are always a good combination during the holidays. You can also do a table setting with vignettes of candles, group of various containers of red flowers, berries, and different shades of greens. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different combinations. Another simple arrangement is a wicker basket big enough to accommodate four pots of mini poinsettia or red flowering plants. You might want to add some greens around the edges of the basket, tie a big red bow for a Christmas basket and presto! You’re done. A red or gold tablecloth will always look grand during the holidays.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your home festive. Go outside and pick up some branches from any tree or shrub. Scatter them on table tops, shelves, sideboard and mantelpiece. When entertaining for the holiday, tuck a red rose inside the napkin ring or an individual bouquet of three roses with some greens in a mint julep cup which you hand to your guest when they leave as a party favor.


Enjoy the Christmas Season!!!

Until next time, stop and smell the roses.



Rosalinda Morgan 

Author and Garden Writer

The Iron Butterfly

BAHALA NA (Come What May)

Get your copy today at




Today being Thanksgiving Day, the tip today is Be Thankful. Here is a lovely prayer for your Thanksgiving meal.

Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Blessing


Bountiful God,

You have blessed us in many ways,

In the beauty and richness of our land,

And in the freedom we enjoy.

You have given us even greater gifts

In our family who loves and cares for us

And in the grace which allows us to know and believe in you.

May we be grateful for all our blessings

Not just today, but every day.

Help us to turn our gratitude into action

By caring for those in need

And by working for a more just society.

Bless the wonderful meal we will enjoy today and

the merriment of those at table.

Be with all those we love who are not with us at this time.

We thank you Lord now and forever. Amen.


From Rosalinda R Morgan, author of

The Iron Butterfly


BAHALA NA (Come What May)

FOURTH OF JULY – A Rose to Celebrate our Independence


Striped Red and White Rose
Parentage: R. ‘Roller Coaster’ x R. ‘Altissimo’.

Fourth of July is a special day for our country. We celebrate our freedom that we cherish and that our veterans fought and died heroically and some are still fighting to preserve what we enjoy today. Won’t it be nice to honor our country by having “Fourth of July” rose in our garden? Yes, a rose by the name of “Fourth of July”. As a gardener, I designed my front garden in the theme of Red, White and Blue. I have white alyssum, blue pansies and red roses.

“Fourth of July” is a semi-double, gorgeous ruffled petals climber that looks like a burst of fireworks when in bloom. It has long, pointed buds and 3″ and 4″ blooms with striped red and white petals and glossy, dark green foliage. It is a vigorous plant and can grow 10 to 14 ft. high. It is the first climber to be honored as a 1999 All-America Selection winner for a long time. I planted mine next to a palm tree hoping it would climb the palm tree but the canes were growing away from the tree so I pegged the long cane. Pegging or bending the cane down and pegging it to the ground encourages more lateral stems and more blooms.

“Fourth of July” has strong apple fragrance, a very refreshing scent. Color is dramatic. It is a stunning plant, a real traffic stopper. It is an excellent repeat blooming rose with sensational flowers all season long. It is the best climber around winning awards at rose show around the country. You can plant them attached to an arch, pergola or trellis for a stunning display of colorful blooms. Some gardeners use them as a shrub in the entranceway to the garden. To grow them as a shrub, prune them heavily in the spring.

Best grown in medium moisture, slightly acidic, well-drained garden loams in full sun to part shade. Water deeply and regularly (mornings are best). Good air circulation is important because it promotes vigorous and healthy growth and helps prevent diseases. Summer mulch helps retain moisture, keeps roots cool and discourages weeds. Remove spent flowers to encourage rebloom. Remove and destroy diseased leaves from plants, as practicable, and clean up and destroy dead leaves from the ground around the plants both during the growing season and as part of winterizing your roses in late fall. It is very disease resistant and winter hardy.

Few roses can command attention like Fourth of July. It only has 10-16 petals but when Fourth of July is in bloom, it is quite a show.


Join a rose society:


Happy Memorial Day and remember . . .

Lest we forget, Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s wars.

Established in the 1860s during the American Civil War, Memorial Day tapped into the general human need to honor our dead who have done so much to serve this great country.

Memorial Day originated in a ceremony called Decoration Day in 1868 was originally observed as a memorial by the northern states to the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War. Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971 and has been an annual tribute to those who have given their lives in service to their country. May 30th was initially designated as Memorial Day but an Act of Congress moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.

The day has and always should be a day when we all take a moment to honor and reflect upon these men and women of the armed forces who have made the supreme sacrifice in times of wars to protect our freedom. They perished in service to their country and for each and every man, woman, and child who calls the United States home.

My gratitude to all men and women in uniform who served and who are still serving in our armed forces – From Rosalinda R Morgan, author of “BAHALA NA (Come What May): A WWII Story of Faith, Love, Courage, Determination and Survival”, a book dedicated to our soldiers.

Holy Week in the Philippines

When I was growing up in the Philippines, during Cuaresma (Holy Week), from Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) to Pasko ng Pagkabuhay (Easter Sunday), Catholic rites in the Philippines were infused with special fervor. It was a time for street pageantry and spiritual cleansing with processions, flagellantes, and passion plays.

On Palm Sunday, the devouts brought palm branches to church to be blessed as symbols of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. In rural areas, the palms might be dried and ground as a medicinal ingredient. Ceremonies reenacting the washing of the feet of the apostles were held in churches on Holy Thursday and Good Friday was a very solemn day. It was also marked by a vigil and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. In churches, priests expounded on Christ’s seven last words spoken on the cross. During Lent, tradition calls for Passion, a book of verses from the creation of man through Christ’s resurrection was read or sung either by an individual or a group as a devotional prayer.

Easter Sunday marked the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and the purple cloth of mourning was removed from the religious images. Church bells pealed and alleluias were sung. The salubong (meeting) took place. The Easter celebration started at dawn around five o’clock with a procession heralding the resurrection of Christ and his reunion with Mary. After the mass at dawn, twin processions left the church led by statues of Mary, the Sorrowful Mother, and the Resurrected Christ and followed by women and men, respectively. The two processions went on opposite direction around the town plaza and then meet in front of the church on the way back.

As choruses were sung, the statues “met”, meaning placed side by side beneath an arch adorned with flowers in front of the church. A little girl dressed as an angel, with wings and a halo, will remove Mary’s black veil with a long handled hook. Its removal was connected with superstitions about the harvest (e.g. a smooth unveiling meant a good harvest, a fallen veil drought). It put so much pressure on the little girl who was doing the honor. I used to participate in this tradition. It was one of the most memorable days of my growing up years.

Spring Fresh – A time of Renewal, Rebirth and Resurrection

To me, spring means different things for different aspects of my life.

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MY GARDEN – After this very cold winter, it’s nice to see the days are getting longer and there is warmth slowly creeping through the air. I hear the morning dove chirping in the morning and the squirrels are back looking for food. I look out the window and the garden beckons. When everything in the garden is barely awake, the spring bulbs are setting up their magnificent presence in the garden. Here in my little piece of paradise, life begins sprouting from the ground with the colorful Apeldoorn tulips. My garden needed my attention to get it ready for the season. There are pruning to be done, cleaning up the yard of debris, replacing the mulch, weeding and feeding the plants. All these aspects of gardening have its own benefits and have to be attended to. Unlike my New York garden which is ablazed with color all through spring, my tiny townhouse plot can’t accommodate all the plants I wanted. I planted a couple of varieties of tulips and a dozen daffodils to start the spring season. I also planted some dutch irises to go with the tulips. I also planted white allysums to grace the edge of the bed while waiting for the roses to take center stage. In the backyard, I had a gardenia, clematis, and three hydrangeas to complement more roses. This year I added a camellia ‘Yuletide’ to my shrub collection.


MY HOME – Inside the house, spring cleaning is a rite of passage. You feel tired looking at those dreary dark colored curtains. There is this urge to change the look to spring. Winter clothes have to be retired and switch on to spring and summer clothes. Since we moved to our new townhouse, we have downsized our belongings. As we get older, our priorities change. Material things are not as important as they used to be. We get wiser and believe we do not need as much as when we are younger.


MY BUSINESS – In business, the same thing is happening. Some people might not consider writing as a business but if you are smart you should think of it as such. As a former accountant, I always think of the profit and loss. We work on our business plan in late winter and start implementing it as the spring season starts in earnest. There is that energy that invigorate us to spring forward. When I was in real estate, we put more energy in prospecting in spring to capture more customers that are looking at homes and making offers. They would like to settle down by late summer to be able to get their kids in school. In my new career, I plan on putting more energy into my marketing plan and that includes blogging at this site and another site, updating my website constantly and continue writing.


Easter at St Dom
– There is the spiritual renewal in spring. With Easter, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. For a practicing Catholic, it is the most sacred of Holidays and it meant a lot to me. I used to help out decorate the church on Saturday morning in preparation for the Easter Vigil at my church in New York. Here in Charleston, since I live too far from my church, I just sing with the Church Choir during the Holy Week. On Easter, we renew our baptismal promise. The church looks beautiful with Easter lilies and spring flowers giving us a sense of rebirth.



MY COMMUNITY – I live in a planned community called The Gardens of Whitney Lake and I’m on the board of the HOA and I also chair the Social Committee. Last month, I met with members of the Social Committee and we plan the events for this year with a Community Yard Sale this weekend as our first event this year. It was a time to clean up our closet. This year we are having an Earth Day to contribute to Charleston’s program of keeping our community beautiful. I just finished working on our community website and it was launched last week. It will be a nice spring start for the community which I love.

Rosalinda Morgan, author, “BAHALA NA (Come What May)”