How To Start A Mary Garden At Home

Having a home Mary garden is a beautiful way to show devotion to Our Lady, and can also be a beautiful way to get your children involved and even be a witness to your neighborhood. Just like anything, it is a lot easier once you actually get started, and it doesn’t have to be complicated to put together. You can do this! You can find all of my ideas about how to honor Mary with kids in May here, and today we are going to talk about how to start a Mary garden.

Pick A Place For Your Garden

Seems obvious but it needed mentioning. It might be nice to have a quiet or somewhat shady place where people may stay and pray or reflect at the garden. If you don’t have a yard, a container or inside Mary garden can work as well. 

Include An Image Of Mary If Possible

If you have a big Mary statue, that’s awesome. If not, that is ok also. I have a post with Mary garden craft ideas where you can create some dedicated signs, stepping stones, painted rocks, or even make a miniature garden with a statue from your nativity set! You can even attach a laminated holy card to a stick! Be creative and don’t let this hurtle stop you from starting your own Mary garden at home. 

I have a large Mary statue that I obtained at a flea market when on vacation at the beach. The shop was calling her “graveyard Mary” and they thought I was crazy for buying it, but I couldn’t leave her behind! Since then my kids knocked her over, breaking her head off. I glued it back on and the glue ran but you know what? She still stands proudly near our front door! 

Mary statues can be affordable to come by at local garden shops as well! I found these St. Francis and angel statues at our local Lowe’s last year. So I’m sure they sometimes get Mary in as well. You just have to keep your eyes peeled. 

Choose Some Flowers

There are 4 main things to consider when choosing your flowers for a Mary garden:

  1. Your own climate, and how sunny or shady the location you chose is. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in symbolism of the flowers and forget if your plot is direct sunlight or not.
  2. The height of the flowers. You want to plan well because you don’t want something that is going to overgrow your Mary statue so you can’t even see her. So maybe tall bushes behind her (such as azaleas or hydrangeas) and low flowers in front of her (such as thrift or asters). 
  3. The maintenance of the plants. If you’re a beginner gardener you may want to choose hardy plants that can survive a lot, and not something that demands finicky care. If you want the garden to be there year after year without too much work, you may want to consider perennials rather than annuals. I like having a stating place of perennials and choosing some new annuals each year to make it seem fresh. 
  4. The timing of the blooming. I personally like to plan our Mary garden to have something that blooms early in the Spring (such as snow drops, iris, or daffodils) and then something that will bloom through the length of the Summer (such as marigolds). You can even extend your Mary garden through the Fall with colder bloomers (such as mums or pansies) 

Flowers That Symbolize Mary

After taking the above things into consideration, you may consider choosing some flowers that have a special symbolization of Mary, although it is not necessary to do so. Here are some well known flowers associated with Mary:

  • Any blue flowers (the color of Our Lady- you could try morning glories or bachelor buttons)
  • Roses
  • Marigolds (“Mary’s Gold”)
  • Rosemary (has her name in there)
  • Lilies, a symbol of the annunciation (day lilies are a good one that bloom for a long time and aren’t too finicky to upkeep)

If you are interested in reading some very beautiful stories of Mary and flower symbolization, check out this beautiful article from Franciscan Media

There is also a great list of Mary symbol flowers here from Fish Eaters that will open your eyes to this: Pretty much any flower to symbolize Mary if you want it to lol. So check the list to find out that the flowers you have already planted ARE indeed symbolic. Score!!! 

Get Your Plot Ready

If you have bad soil (which here in South Carolina we have this HORRIBLE red clay) than you may need to purchase some bags of soil to prepare your garden. It will be worth the investment. You may also consider having some kind of mulch ready, as it can add to the overall tidiness of a garden and help keep the weeds down and the moisture in. 

Get The Family Involved And Start Planting! 

I like to make something like this a “family project” and take everyone out to work together until the task is complete. After all, many hands makes for light work!

I always think it is so much more important to get the little people involved than it is to have a job done perfectly, so let the little hands help! 

It may help grow their devotion to Mary, and hopefully, it will. 

Home Mary Garden Picture Gallery

I asked ya’ll on the Catholic Icing facebook page if you would share some pictures of your Mary gardens for the community and you really came through! Check out all of these Mary garden ideas from all over the country! 

I love this little Mary garden submitted by Heidi. Her statue is so vibrant!

Jen from North Carolina submitted this simple Mary garden with hosta. 

I love the little touches in this garden from Scholastique from Calgary. Look at the little star fish! 

Check out this beautiful and colorful garden from Hilary in Texas.

This Mary garden from Christine has a smaller statue, so she used a cinder block to give Mary a little more height. Smart!

Jennifer submitted this simple Mary garden, and I love her use of containers! You could just switch them out for whatever was currently in bloom. 

Angelina in Texas sent in this Mary garden picture, which also includes an angel statue. 

Carrie sent in this beautiful Mary garden with Our Lady of Guadalupe, and it’s being enjoyed by her chicken!!! 🙂

This Mary garden from Keeping MC in Houston Texas is so creative! I love the use of this door and also the colorful cross hanging on the fence. So unique! 

Thank you to everyone who provided pictures for this post!

If you’re looking for more ideas, check out my other resources on how to honor Mary with kids.

Comments

  1. Jules Demers says

    When your Mary garden is complete don’t forget to have your Pastor come over and bless it. My Pastor was happy to come by and bless mine, I’m sure yours will be, too-Just ask:) Jules!!

  2. You have inspired me with your great tips.

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