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Although this could very well be a picture of me finding a new treasure at a favorite nursery, it's actually an illustration by David Catrow for a children's book called Plantzilla.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Winter Rose



I'm easily delighted by finding good surprises in my garden.  My roses had pretty much closed shop for the season even  before our two freezes.  Somehow, this one decided to live through the sub freezing temperatures and open up even in this dark cold time of the year.  Look on the bottom left just beneath the bud and you may see another surprise.  If not in this picture, you may see her in the next one.





Lo, How a rose e'er blooming from tender stem hath sprung!
               Some say love it is a river that drowns the tender reed,
Of Jesse's lineage coming as men of old have sung.
               Some say love it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed.
It came a floweret bright 
               Some say love it is a hunger, an endless aching need,
Amid the cold of winter
                I say love it is a flower and you it's only seed.
When half-spent was the night.

It's the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance
It's the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance
It's the one who won't be taken who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying that never learns to live.

This flower whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
                When the night has been to lonely and the road has been too long,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere.
                 And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong,
True man yet very God,
                 Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow,
From sin and death he saves us
                 Lies the seed that with the sun's love in the spring becomes the rose
And lightens every load.

Rosa 'Fragrant Cloud'  with a lady bug keeping it company. A couple of Sundays ago, a lady bug crawled down the side of a page of music on my stand as I was directing the choir.  I carefully scooped her up and brought her to my greenhouse where she seemed to be happy to drink some water. They're such sweet little bugs!

Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming arr. Sandstrom

There is a rose that blooms so fair
It's fragrance in the air
 doth charm me so 
I ever know 
a scent beyond compare.

This lovely rose came long ago
upon a winter's night.
The angels sang
The shepherds came,
and all the world was right.

O lovely rose, be close to me as through the world I go
And bless me with thy tender love and all folk here below.

Gordon Young


Bring Me A Rose – Ernie Sheldon
Recorded by The Womenfolk (1964)

Bring me a rose in the wintertime
When it’s hard to find
Bring me a rose in the wintertime
I've got roses on my mind
A rose is sweet
Most any time, and yet
Bring me a rose in the wintertime
It’s so easy to forget


Bring me a friend when I’m far from home
When it’s hard to find
Bring me a friend when I’m far from home
I’ve got friendship on my mind
A friend is sweet … It’s so easy to forget

Bring me a smile when I'm all alone
When it’s hard to find
Bring me a smile when I'm all alone
I've got smiles on my mind
A smile is sweet … It’s so easy to forget

Bring me a kiss when my child is grown
When it’s hard to find
Bring me a kiss when my child is grown
I've got kisses on my mind
A kiss is sweet … It’s so easy to forget

Bring me love in my autumn years
When it's hard to find.
Bring me love in my autumn years
I've got loving on my mind.
Love is sweet … It’s so easy to forget

Bring me peace when there's talk of war
When it's hard to find
Bring me peace when there's talk of war
Peace is on my mind
Peace is sweet … It’s so easy to forget




I hope your garden and your holiday season are full of delightful surprises!

25 comments:

  1. Signs of hope in an unsettled world, roses and ladybugs.

    It will be hard to hear The Rose now without wanting to hear Lo How a Rose E'er along with it.

    Yesterday I was bringing in a pot of Christmas Cactus to enjoy in the house when a tiny anole crawled out on my hand. Instead of jumping to another plant that I offered, he went up my arm and started around to my back. I shed my cardigan and persuaded him that going into the house was not in his future.

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    1. Simple signs are best for me! The still small voice...

      Isn't that an interesting combination?

      Oh my you had a fun surprise! I bet with the frogs and anoles in your greenhouse, you don't have any bug problems!

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  2. I'm easily delighted by little surprises in my garden too, especially at this time of year. Hooray for ladybugs!

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    1. I think gardeners take pleasure in the minutia of their gardens that few other people even pay attention to.

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  3. The ladybug found a lovely home to settle in.

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  4. One has to appreciate the small everyday miracles. Thanks for having the good eye and ready camera to capture this one - and for the wonderful, and very appropriate, musical accompaniment.

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    1. I'm embarrassed to say that I didn't notice the ladybug on the rose until later when I was looking at the pictures I took that day. Wish I could claim credit for being fast with the camera - it was just a beautiful surprise!

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  5. A rose in winter time is a precious thing, especially to the lady bug.

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    1. I didn't notice her until later when I was looking at my pictures. I would have given her a spot in the greenhouse as well!

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  6. Try on Renee Fleming singing "The Last Rose of Summer". Makes me cry no matter how often I hear it.

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  7. It's a beautiful Christmas surprise. I love that arrangement of the roses. The St. Olaf choir version was so wonderful last year.

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    1. We share a love of the St. Olaf Choir! What a great group and a wonderful tradition! F. Melius must be smiling somewhere!

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  8. At the risk of sounding like you know who, "it's a good thing"...

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  9. It is so good when our garden surprises us! I'm sure the ladybird thought that she'd found a nice safe place to overwinter.

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    1. Garden surprises are (usually) very sweet!

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  10. "Lo, How a Rose..." is one of my favorite Christmas songs. Thanks for sharing it here. Perfect companion to your beautiful surprise! I always think of surprise Roses this time of year. It doesn't happen much here in the Great Lakes states, but "miracles" do occur at times. Great post!

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    1. "Lo, How a Rose" is one of my favorites, too! Glad you enjoyed the post. Keep your eyes peeled, miracles happen every day. Or is it Miracle Whip that happens every day? I'm easily confused.

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  11. The ladybug is an even larger surprise, than a rose with just enough in it to try opening in winter...the mild side of your moisture is always present, even under a frosty surface. Here, all gone! But wait...

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    1. We had a few days in the low 60's that may have caused the lady in question to come out of hibernation for a bit. Your seasons are more extreme than ours but I'm waiting...

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  12. Beautiful music--especially that first piece. Those qualify as "delightful surprises"!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your thoughts.