O Come, O Come, Emmanuel , Spider plants, and Trees tops..

(I did always prefer it spelled with an E)

Well, while there is not a lot of gardening going on, I am keeping an eye on my several indoor plants, and a few spider starts that are creeping out of their plastic glasses in the window sill.  My Ivy has been growing up and wild. My mature spider complained about getting watered to much, so I'm leaving her alone.  The smaller ones are turning out nicely, and my other plants are coming along just fine.  I have one that I think is nicknamed "Butterfly wings" (I have no idea) that is doing quite well.   

The main worry is keeping the grand Christmas Tree watered!  Sometimes he drinks quite a bit, and other times takes it slower.  I think he will last through the holidays though...and then maybe we can cut off the top, put it in water for a while, and replant it somewhere.  My sister's professor (from university days) does that every year, and it sounds like a nice idea.  Shall I try?

As none of you know, I play the guitar and perform occasionally.  Most of the time it's my own original work, but I was asked to play at a church Christmas Party a few weeks ago.  The song of choice?  "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel".  I sang and played on Astrud, my guitar (named after Astrud Gilberto, the bossa nova singer) while my sister accompanied on Violin.  It was fun, and sounded nice, considering I had had no voice all week long because I had been sick.  

I love singing Christmas songs...and here are the lyrics to that one, and a painting of Isaiah.  Don't you just love Isaiah?

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here.
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.


O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


O come, Thou Root of Jesse’s tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.


O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,
And be Thyself our King of Peace.



Lo, How A Rose

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 floweret 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 men a Savior,
When half spent was the night.

The shepherds heard the story proclaimed by angels bright,
How Christ, the Lord of glory was born on earth this night.
To Bethlehem they sped and in the manger found Him,
As angel heralds said.

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere;
True Man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us,
And lightens every load.

O Savior, Child of Mary, who felt our human woe,
O Savior, King of glory, who dost our weakness know;
Bring us at length we pray, to the bright courts of Heaven,
And to the endless day!


Frozen Pansies

All my pansies are irrevocably frozen.  Not even a vacation to Hawaii could help them recover.  They served me well, and have been pleased.  I know that after their second year Pansies are considered annuals, but should I just cut them back and see if they peak up in the spring, or are they as good as gone?  

I felt like I was on a posting roll until I ran over and killed my landlord's dog a few days ago.  That kind of derailed my intentions as I sought solace in several books and a few warm baths.  That story is still to come...sigh.  

Merry Christmas!


New Years Resolutions aka Re-Potting

This is the time of year that people start thinking about resolutions, goals, etc.  They think about changing something, or many things, about themselves.  Well, I have had many fiascos in my own life trying to do this, but I think re-potting my plants has proven even worse!  So, a very patient friend of mine, who I like to call Sir. Bob, (and I've always wondered if that nickname ever irritated him, because I've never asked if I could use it.  One seldom does with nicknames.) has done an entire post, pictures and all, on how to effectively repot a plant.  I am telling you, you don't want to miss it.  It's great!  It will make you want to repot everything in the vicinity whether they need it or not.    So, zoom over here and see for yourself!

Thank you, Sir Bob.  

And by the by, do spider plants do better with less room or more room in the pot?  

Merry Christmas!

Christmas Time At Red Clover

Merry Christmas!  

Seeing as how this is Red Clover's first year, and first Christmas, it is something to celebrate!  Now, while those of you who are in the southern hemisphere you are swinging into full summer garden season, those of us in the north are having sort of a freeze in these activities.   The last couple days Red Clover has been in council, and this just means I have been talking to myself.  The month of December will be full of Christmas!  And there are enough plants around at Christmas time to make it still worth a gardeners while, and enough joy to make it worth a person's while.  (Not that gardeners aren't people, they are just an extraordinary breed of persons.  Ha ha.  Maybe one day I will come close to that title.  I assure you I am not gardener yet.)  So, this season will be a festive break out!  Yea!  

I hope to make it interactive, in the sense that many traditions, stories, carols, etc., are shared.  Like the previous post about the Christmas Tree!  That was fantastic to hear what you all prefer and how you do things.   

Welcome to Christmas at Red Clover!


Real of Fake? A Red Clover Survey...

Tis the Season, and so I ask this question of all of you out there!  Yes, You.  Right there.  Do you prefer Real or Fake Christmas trees? Do you boycott them altogether?  Seeing as how this is a garden crew, etc., I am curious as to your thoughts and views.  

I'll start with mine.  I adore real Christmas trees.  One of my favorite memories was going with the entire family to the Christmas tree lot, and grand negotiations taking place as to which tree would be going home with us.  My oldest sister in particular was always very animate.   There was nothing like returning home from school, a few days after the tree had been set up, to find that mom had been vacuuming, allowing the pine scent to hang in the air even clearer.  My younger sister and I would sit on the couch in the living room on the couch by the big front window, and watch the tree, and the snowy streets outside,where all of the fairies were dancing in the trees, on roofs, and in the shrubs.  To this day, Christmas lights  always strike me as small family clans of fairies bustling about in bursts of light.  Now, you may be saying that some of those things might have been experienced even with a fake tree.  You might be right, but it has been an emotional part of the Holiday Season for me, and therefore part of the unexplainable magic. 

 I also loved being up early enough in the morning to see my dad throw his tie over his shoulder and water the tree every morning.  

This girl is all for real Christmas trees.  Kip and I have a beautiful one up right now.  What about you?  


The Holly And The Ivy

I brought my Ivy in after fall was quickly sliding toward freezing temperatures.  He is now sitting on the window sill above my kitchen sink.  Part of me is tempted to twist a hanger into an upward spiral, and grow Mr. Ives that way.  The other half of me wishes to just let him grow any which way, because that is what I would prefer God did with me sometimes.  But He usually has better things in mind.   Have any of you tried to grow your Ivy plants into a pattern of sorts?  What is the best way to go about it? 

 I should get a holly plant and name him Currier.  

And now, since it is December, here are the words to one of my favorite Christmas Carol.  It is an English Carol from the fifteenth-century and apropos on a blog about plants and gardening.    

The Holly And The Ivy

THe Holly and the Ivy, 
When they are both full grown
Of all the trees are in the wood, 
the Holly bears the crown.

The Holly bears a blossom
As white as any flower;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Saviour.

The Holly bears a berry
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ 
To do poor sinners good.

The Holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas in the morn. 

The Holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all. 

The Holly and the Ivy
Now both are full well grown:
Of all the trees are in the wood
The Holly bears the crown.