Mary’s Garden


Common Name/Religious Name:

Hollyhock/St. Joseph’s Staff, Pansy/Our Lady’s Delight, Bleeding Heart/Mary’s Heart, Columbine/Our Lady’s Shoes, Primrose/Our Lady’s Keys, Black Eyed Susan/Golden Jerusalem, Cornflowers/Mary’s Crown, Cosmos/St. Michaels’ Flower, Petunia/Our Lady’s Praises, Zinnia/The Virgin, Gladiolus/Ladder to Heaven, Geranium/Gentle Virgin, Daffodil/Mary’s Star, Lily of the Valley/Our Lady’s Tears, Peony/Pentecost Rose, Tulip/Mary’s Prayer, Rose/Emblem of Mary.

A Mary Garden is a collection of plants and flowers that have specific “Mary names” or religious names in addition to their botanical and common names.

John S. Stokes Jr. was the founder of the Mary’s Gardens movement, which started in 1951 to promote the creation of Mary Gardens and to connect gardeners of all skill levels. Proposed first for home gardens, Mary Gardens soon became fixtures at schools, parishes, burial plots, institutions, and shrines.  As outreach was an important aspect of the movement, Stokes wrote, designed, and compiled gardening guides and garden plans to encourage people to plant Mary Gardens, promoting them as prayerful, religious works of stewardship, devotion, praise, thanksgiving, meditation, and commitment for God’s artistry in creation.

“Never be afraid of loving the Blessed Virgin too much. You can never love her more than Jesus did.”
–Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Often they include a statue of Mary, sometimes holding the infant Jesus, as a focal point for meditation.


Today, the Church celebrates the birthday of Our Blessed Mother.

May you find time in your day, in your own way, to meditate on

her love for her son,

and for us.

And may the love you collect bloom into a bountiful garden!

(Just don’t forget to share with those around you!)


Won’t you please?

Take a stroll with me?

For all of God’s wonder you shall see!

His mother & friends will meet us there too!

There is so much yet for our eyes to discover,

looking at Mary’s Garden School.

Won’t you please?

hugs n’ blessings to you when you do!

“We never give more honour to Jesus than when we honour his Mother, and we honour her simply and solely to honour him all the more perfectly. We go to her only as a way leading to the goal we seek – Jesus, her Son.”
–Saint Louis Marie de Montfort

*John Stokes donated all the data collected during his many years creating A Mary Garden, to the Marian Library.  All information regarding A Mary Garden, was taken from this site.  (Except for the garden-visitor, who is an angel in her own rite.)

8 thoughts on “Mary’s Garden

  1. What a lovely idea! I can’t believe I’ve never heard of this. (And what sweet pictures, with that young nature lover in them!)

    Years ago, we knew a woman who made advent wreaths with herbs that grew in Israel at the time of Jesus’s birth–I loved that symbolism. But the living concept of the Mary garden is even nicer. I’m going to research these…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a blessing! Thank you sincerely. In 2011 when a dreadful flood decimated our state I was inspired by God to simply travel town by town helping as I was able and giving butterflies (ie stickers for children, silk, outdoor laminated and even one glorious golden one was donated given to a town mayor for a council Office. The Lord led me to different folk along the way. I went to a catholic school with two huge outdoor butterflies on stakes. The headmistress was obviously incredibly touched and led me out to ‘The Mary Garden’ at the back of the school. It was beautiful.(breathtakingly so). I had never seen such a pretty and beautiful place. She called two students who knelt there with me and we planted the two butterflies in that place as we thanked God for His Love and remembered the life of a little child who had died the previous week only seven years old. I have never been so overwhelmed in my life.(I think I told you once I am not a catholic but passionately a Christian). Absolute appreciation for all folk like you live for. Your beautiful post has touched my heart today deeply.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Faye, thank you for sharing such a tender story with me. What a wonderful gift you gave to all those in need, and how blessed in return you were to receive the grace of his outpouring love! It is always amazing to find beauty amidst destruction. Our proof that His love never leaves us…. I am tickled to have found a place in your heart, and rest assured you dwell in mine as dearly! Hugs & Blessings!!


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