Catholic Homeschool Articles, Advice & Resources

In the Schoolroom – Plant a Mary Garden


Why not create some beauty in a corner of your yard this year using a little plaster and Marian flowers to honor Our Lady? Mary Ellen Barrett shows you how.

Prior to the Reformation most of the beautiful flowers in the gardens of medieval Europe had names honoring Our Blessed Mother. Legend has it that when the Apostles opened Our Lady’s tomb, they found it filled with flowers, confirming that Mary is taken directly to heaven by Jesus so that no corruption could ever besmirch the perfection of the first tabernacle.

Many of those flowers became symbols of Our Lady’s purity and beauty and are often depicted in art to symbolize her spiritual gifts. The names given to even some of the most common flowers were lovely and it is a shame that they have fallen out of use but homeschool families can bring the old tradition back by planting a Mary garden this spring to honor our lady.

I began this tradition in my own home a few years ago when my children purchased a garden statue of the Blessed Mother for Mother’s Day. I planted a few Our Lady of Guadalupe roses around here and some Assumption Lilies (Hostas) for greenery and Our Lady’s Thimbles (Bluebells) because I love them.

This year our Mary Garden needed to be moved and replanted due to some extensive storm damage from a nor’easter this past fall. This presented an opportunity to add something new. I noticed stepping stone kits were inexpensive on Amazon, so I ordered one to try and it was quite easy. I used some glass beads in a pretty blue color and a plastic rosary as well as a couple of miraculous medals I had. This is a quick project that could easily be accomplished by young children if they decorate the stone quickly, it dries and hardens in a truly short time.

We have, as a society, been deprived of so much beauty in recent years, the world has become ever crasser and cruder, eschewing beauty and truth for the sordid and dreary so why not spend some time this year creating a little beauty in a corner of your yard using some plaster and flowers to honor Our Lady.

Marian Names for Common Flowers

Bleeding Heart – Mary’s Heart
Daisy – Mary’s Flower
Forget-me-not – Eyes of Mary
Geranium – Beautiful Lady
Foxglove / Honeysuckle – Our Lady’s Fingers
Maidenhair Fern – Our Lady’s Hair
Thistle – Our Lady’s Milk Drops
Morning Glory – Our Lady’s Mantle
Fuchsia – Our Lady’s Eardrops
Parsley – Our Lady’s Lace
Columbine – Our Lady’s Shoes
Caladium – Queen’s Mantle
Larkspur – Our Lady’s Spurs
Bluebell – Our Lady’s Thimble
Geranium – Madonna’s Pins
Marigold – Mary’s Gold
Thrift – Our Lady’s Cushion
Lily of the Valley – Our Lady’s Tears
English Daisy – Mary’s Loves
Bachelor Buttons – Mary’s Crown
Violet – Mary’s Humility
Tulip – Mary’s Prayer
Daffodil – Mary’s Star
Iris – Mary’s Sword of Sorrow
Pansy – Our Lady’s Delight
Petunia – Our Lady’s Praises
Periwinkle – Virgin Flower
Zinnia – The Virgin

About Mary Ellen Barrett

Mother of seven children and two in heaven, Mary is wife to David and a lifelong New Yorker. She has homeschooled her children for eleven years using Seton and an enormous amount of books. She is a columnist for The Long Island Catholic and blogs here . Meet Mary Ellen.
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