Monday, 9 December 2013

Advent Diary, day 9 - Herbs and Advent Wreaths


Every year I put candles on a large wooden plate,
and arrange pine cones and small pieces of tree bark, sprayed golden, around them.

The proper thing to do would be to make an advent wreath
and either hang it from the ceiling if it’s very large,
or put it on a table which is not used for anything else.

For me, my plate suffices.




This year I decided to snip up some herbs and add them to the plate. Both bay and rosemary grow in the garden and both have a lovely scent when rubbed between the fingers, or simply placed in a warm environment.


Evergreen rosemary - the rose of the Virgin Mary -  is one of the special plants for Christmas. There is a lovely legend connected with it: it was believed to blossom at  midnight on Christmas Eve, and to have acquired its scent from the garments of the Infant Jesus, which the Virgin hung out to dry on a rosemary bush. Rosemary does indeed flower in winter.

‘Rosemary comforteth the brain, the memory and the inward senses. The distilled water of the flowers, being drunk morning and evening, taketh away the stench of the mouth and breath, and maketh it very sweet’.

Gerard’s Herbal 1636

Also:

Where rosemary grows, the woman rules the House. Anon



31 comments:

  1. Goodness wonderful information. I have several Rosemany plants, both annual and perennial. The later will survive winter.

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  2. I like that version of an Advent wreathe - it makes more sense to have one that can be disassembled on not have to be stored.

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  3. i like the simplicity of it....the wood plate, the natural elements and the candles....its very nice...and peaceful....

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  4. I love to bring in my cut greens for the holidays. Their aroma is so wonderful. With your suggestion, I will go out and cut some Rosemary to add to my arrangements. Thank you.

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  5. That is an incredibly beautiful wreath Friko

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  6. Friko, your Advent wreath is so naturally beautiful! Adding the rosemary and bay is a grand idea. I particularly love rosemary.

    xo

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    1. I especially love this herb. I can't keep it over in the house, however. So, each year I buy a new one. I really like the plate for your Advent "wreath" I've seen it done before and your addition of things from nature in your yard make it very special.
      Have a pleasant day,
      Balisha

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  7. I used to put herbs into the holly bunches put up in the house for the Christmas period.....
    I shall be keeping that last sentence of your post well away from my husband's eyes in view of the whopping rosemay bush outside the porch....

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  8. That rosemary legend is sweet, I had not known about it before reading it here on your blog, Friko.
    Until a few years ago, my Dad always hand-made the Advent wreaths for my sister, me and their own household. Ever since he has suffered a light stroke, he finds such crafting too much of a challenge, and buys wreaths instead. Advent wouldn't be the same for me without a wreath on the coffee table in my living room. Your plate with the pine cones and gold-sprayed bark is beautiful!

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  9. het ziet er wel heel gezellig uit.

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  10. Dear Friko, so many lovely legends surround the birth of Yeshua--the child borne by Mary. I no longer believe in the story of the first Christmas, but I find it a lovely legend that speaks of the beauty of love and the need we all have for an innocence of heart that blesses our world. I find myself thinking, "If there were no first Christmas in a manger, then there should have been!" For we need the hope that comes from birth.

    Your "Advent" wreath is lovely. Peace.

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  11. Now you make me want to go out and salvage my winter rosemary...which does not bloom here until summer.

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  12. I like your plate
    and think I will copy.
    So much does not do well here at the edge of the damp woods.
    I plant a lot of herbs in pots.
    My Rosemary does so well, is massive and I love the scent.
    At Thanksgiving I filled a large vase with herbs that the Winter weather had not hurt.
    Rosemary, Sage, Dill and a few other herbs.
    Put in the center of my big table.

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  13. I like your plate Friko - it is simple and beautiful, and I am sure about the lovely scent! :-)

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  14. Sadly, I don't have much room for decorations, but your is lovely. Makes me want to get out the Christmas things. Blessings from Dalamory. www.freda.org.uk

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  15. What a lovely idea. Love the 'rosemary' legend.

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  16. Bet your house smells wonderful. Have a good week Diane

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  17. Finally an explanation for why rosemary has gone to god in my garden many, many times. It is looking good at the moment though...
    Love your advent plate.

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  18. Lovely ... neat rosemary idea ... season's greetings, Friko ... Love, cat.

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  19. You inspire me to add some bay and rosemary to my Christmas greenery...

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  20. Hi Friko - looks so homely and we've been lucky that til recently the plants haven't been frosted off ... I always enjoy reading the Culpeper journals and seeing Gerard's Herbal notes .. which I don't think I have, but probably have books that cross refer ...

    Women rule ok! Your advent calendar is such a fun read .. cheers Hilary

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  21. Rosemary is one of my favorites -- and I never knew the story, so thanks for sharing that. I bring mine in during the winter and it usually dries or dies by February in the dry house, but I use it till it does, then keep the dried bits for cooking.

    I LOVE your plate. In fact, I think I like it better than a wreath. It's easier to manage, it's beautiful and it's filled with natural beauty. Especially on the wooden plate. Perfect, I think.

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  22. Mmmmm. We have it throughout our neighborhood. I love brushing my mittens up against it when I walk--such a soothing smell. Such a pretty, pretty, plate!!

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  23. One of the many things I miss about living in Bavaria is the tradition of an Advent wreath for the table. I have one made from pine cones -- from our time there. Unfortunately, it gets buried in the box with the Christmas decorations and I never manage to get it on time for the beginning of the season. Your idea of using a plate and organizing fruit and herbs with the candles is one I shall remember for next year.

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  24. Rosemary is one of my favorite herbs and there are several bushes of it thriving outside. I don't know what that says about my household! I love the Advent wreath tradition and have one on a tray on my table. Adding herbs to it is a lovely idea.

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  25. This is a wonderful idea; adding the extra herbs is a nice touch, too.

    =)

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  26. I especially like your wooden plate.

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  27. I love rosemary, but hadn't heard that legend. Your Advent plate looks beautiful and works just as well as a wreath.

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  28. That must be my problem. I must not rule this house. I cannot grow rosemary inside. I've tried growing a rosemary tree at Christmas, but it always dies. I don't grow it outside in our new home because it won't live over the winter. I do love it though.

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