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 www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.





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 www.amazon.com/author/rosalindarmorgan.




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: http://www.charlestonrose.com.

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.