One of the traditional ways the faithful have venerated the Virgin Mary, which became popular during Medieval times, was with a family home or parish church Mary Garden.
Marian Gardens were small plots of ground dedicated to growing shrubs, herbs, and flowers that were representative of Mary and various events from her life. This was quite easy to do, as literally hundreds of plants were given Marian names in remembrance of Mary’s saintly life and glorious virtues.
Read more: Get Inspired to Make Your Own Mary Garden
Here are a few interesting stories about Marian plants:
- Columbines were originally called ‘Our Lady’s Shoes’. These flowers are said to have sprung up along Mary’s path on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth following the Annunciation.
- Bluebells were originally called ‘Our Lady’s Thimbles’ to honor Mary’s motherly housework as she made the clothes Jesus wore.
- Hostas were originally called ‘Assumption Lilies’. In late summer a tall, thin stalk emerges from the leaves eventually unfolding as a beautiful and intricate flower, a reminder of Mary’s Assumption into heaven.
The slideshow below displays the pious traditions and legends behind 12 Garden Plants Named after the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This article has been updated and was originally published in May 2016. © The Catholic Company. All rights reserved. A portion of this article appeared as our guest post, Celebrate the Month of Mary with a Marian Garden, at CatholicMom.com.