Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spring Has Sprung! And so has our Mary Garden

Spring has finally arrived down under in Australia and while we built this beautiful new Mary Garden in late May, sickness descended and we were unable to fill it with flowers. So we waited. We waited for our spring, planning to have the flowers in by the time another Marian month came around ~ the month of October and the month of the Holy Rosary.

This display of our new Mary Garden filled with delightful spring flowers has coincided with the first of a new season of "Living Lives of Loveliness" carnivals.

Paula over at A Catholic Harvest will be showcasing the beautiful season of Autumn for those ladies in the northern hemisphere and for ladies like myself who live in the southern hemisphere, we will be reminding everyone in the carnival of the joys of Spring!

The English Daisy is known as "Mary Love" and while this beautiful daisy plant is not exactly that, I like to think all daisies as "Mary Loves" ~ so beautiful and feminine.

Geranium is known as the "Gentle Virgin" ~ this is my mother's favourite flower as it reminds her of her own childhood and mother. If there is one word I could use to describe my own mother, it would be 'gentle' ~ so a lovely extra association for me.


"I am the rose of Sharon

the Lily of the valley,

I am the perfect flower

that unfolded for God alone...."

Some more "Mary Loves"..... there is a beautiful legend connected to daisies about Our Lady and Our Lord:

"One day the Child Jesus first cut himself - on His hand - with a sharp object, in the yard of their Nazareth home. Some drops of his Precious Blood fell on the all white little blooms of the English Daisies at his feet, some of which then turned blood red - and remained so henceforth - so that ever after when she saw the flowers, and other red flowers in the yard, Mary, with a rush of sorrowful love, reflected on Jesus' future shedding of his blood."

The daisies we have in our Mary Garden are blush and light pink, so 'tinged' with the Precious Blood of the Child Jesus and a reflection of the sorrowful ponderings of Our Blessed Mother....

A lovely vibrant Fuchsia, otherwise known as "Our Lady's Eardrops"

"The gently drooping flowers resemble ear-drops or pendant earrings. It is told that Jesus may have playfully hung flower jewels of ruby and amethyst colors on his mother’s ears.

In Devonshire, England, the old folks said Our Lady’s Ear-drop was the only name they had ever known for the flower. It is said that their forefathers, on first seeing the flowers and noticing how they resembled ear-drops, named them in Mary’s honor. It may be that pious persons named the blossoms Our Lady’s Ear-drops as their way of paying tribute to Mary, who through her ears “heard the word of God, and kept it.” ~ St Anthony's Messenger
"I am the Immaculate Virgin

the dwelling of the most high,

The most chaste spouse of the Holy Spirit,

and the mother of the Word...."

Here is our miniature Bougainvillea in a soft, delicate pink. The Bougainvillea whose origin is from Brazil is known as "Trinitaria" ~ Trinity. This would be due to each flower head comprising of three petals and three stamens.
"This double symbolism reminds us that the mystery of the Holy Trinity was first revealed to Mary at the Annunciation, and that now she beholds and shares in the life of the three divine persons in the beautific vision of heaven." ~ St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish

These delicate roses come from a beautiful minature standard rose called, "China Doll" it is a medium peach in colour. The Rose of course is signature of everything marian - we think of the rosary and marian titles such as "Rose of Sharon", "Mystica Rosa" (Mystical Rose) a title from the Litany of Our Lady. Then there are apparitions of Our Lady like Our Lady of Guadalupe where she associates herself with the rose in a miraculous way.

I have two other rose standards in my Mary Garden, they are both the same, 'Seduction Rose' and I have to say I feel that rose is poorly named, look at the beautiful image below and to me it has a very childlike feel to it or it expresses to me the gentle love of a mother. I certainly look forward to many profuse blooms from these standards in the next week or so, that remind me of my heavenly mother's tender, soft love for us all.

This beautiful site speaks of the rose in connection to Our Lady very well:

"The rose is regarded as the "queen of flowers", and often symbolizes Mary, the Queen of Heaven. Also an almost universal symbol of perfect love, its color, perfection of form, and fragrance, as well as its thorns signifies Mary's role in salvation history as the Mother of God the Savior who was crowned with thorns and shed His blood on the Cross for love of mankind. The rose, arising from a thorny bush, also signifies Mary, the Mystical Rose, "our fallen Nature's solitary boast", who alone of the human race was conceived without sin. It also may contain a parallel with the fiery thorn bush from which God spoke to Moses: Mary, immaculately conceived, was the means through which God became Man, The Word made flesh."

"I am all for my beloved,

his turning is always to me

within me resides the fullness of grace

the Trinity is at home...."

These orchids are called 'Crucifix Orchids'. The wild orchid is known as "Mary's Hand of Pity" or "Our Lady's Tears" ~ Mary's Hand of Pity particularly touches me and so that is how I would like to see these beautiful orchids. The colours here a gorgeous, a stunning pink and a red that is a real burgundy.

There seems to me, a lovely connection between this orchid's real name 'Crucifix Orchid' and 'Mary's Hand of Pity.' This orchid is also a stunning colour, a yellow/orange, a beautiful mix with the other two orchids surrounding Our Lady's statue.

"I am the pure lily of true virginity.

joy of the Bridegroom was made manifest in me.

I am the violet of the greatest humility

most pleasing to the Lord...."

Here are our delightful Marigolds or "Mary Golds" This is one of the most traditional flowers connected to Mary, with many legends, some referring back to the time of Christ:

"The marigold was called Mary's Gold by early Christians who placed the flowers around statues of Mary, offering the blossoms in place of coins. It was told that Mary used the blossoms as coins. A legend says that during the Flight into Egypt the Holy Family was accosted by a band of thieves. They took Mary's purse and when they opened it, marigolds fell out. " ~ Mary's Flowers

The beautiful 'face' of a marigold follows the light of the sun, day after day:

"Present-day scientists are still awed by the marigold. Some botanists believe the flower holds the key to a few baffling problems of the plant world. People of science were interested in the golden flower centuries before it attracted the attention of Western Christians. To a degree quite unique among medieval plants, Mary's gold exhibited a strange sensitivity to light from the sun.

Every farmer and gardener knew that the flower opened its half-shut eyes each day about 9 a.m.. For about six hours it slowly turned its head to follow the bright sun. About 3 p.m., it began folding its petals for another night of slumber.

Early observers had some interesting theories, but no systematic body of facts. Modern analysts have extended the knowledge of this phenomenon, but still stumble in a corridor enshrouded by a fog of mystery.

Today botanists refer to the marigold's movement as phototropism (light-turning). Most, if not all, plants arrange their leaves, blossoms and stems in response to light. Conspicuous movements by the marigold and sunflower simply dramatize a process taking place more slowly among practically all green-leaf organisms." ~ Mary's Gold by By Brother John M. Samaha, S.M.

This movement in nature reflects perfectly the relationship between Our Lady and her Divine Son. As the Holy Father Pope John Paul II beautifully describes this relationship in his apostolic letter on the rosary, Rosarium Virginis Mariae when he tells us what the rosary is:
The rosary is:
"nothing other than to contemplate with Mary the face of Christ.”

Here is our delicate Sweet Alyssum, it has a few marian names associated with it, Blessed by Mary or Mary's Little Cross. Each little flowerhead is a tiny cross, and so this is the symbol of the interior Cross of Christ borne within Mary's heart and soul ~ her hidden sorrow.

"The carnation speaks of my mother's love.

The iris the queenship bestowed from above.

lavender tells of my holiness

the purity of my life...."

I particularly love snapdragons! They remind me of my childhood along with poppies and sweet peas. Snapdragons have a beautiful association to a very touching legend about the 'Little Shoes of the Infant Jesus':

"As the shapes of snapdragon blooms bring tomind little shoes, we envisage in our imagination the little feet and shoes of Jesus, and Mary's loving motherly sharing and bonding with him as she cared for him in their Nazareth home. In imitation of Mary, may we ever nurture and protect the innocence and purity of our own children as we instruct them in the truths and virtues of the Faith." ~St Elizabeth Ann Seton Parish

I love lavenders so much, I would think a flower garden as not complete without a bush or two.

It bears the beautiful name of, "Mary's Drying Plant" due to this marian legend:

"After Mary had washed Jesus' clothes and was looking for a place to hang them to dry, she saw a gray bush of lavender and on its branches she spread the snow-white baby clothes. The sun and the wind dried the clothes and when Mary came to gather them, the clothes smelled sweet and clean and the bushes were fragrant with a sweet scent that lavender now has. It is said that the fragrance which came from the earthly body of the Son of God was transferred to the plant, giving it its unique scent.

Lavender was said to be one of the plants most loved by the Blessed Virgin because it represented purity, cleanliness and virtue."

Isn't that particularly beautiful?

"The lady's slipper and the marigold were named after me.

Holy Spirit's flower columbine shall be.

Cyclamen is for my sorrowful and Immaculate Heart

bluebells ring out my joys...."

The rosmary plant I have here is special, it is called a "Gallipoli Rosemary" on the back of the tag it says:

"This plant has been produced from cutting originating from a wild rosemary brought back from the hills of Gallipoli by a wounded Digger. Purchase of this plant will assist in the establishment of avenues of trees to commemorate all lives lost in service to our Nation since the historic landing at Gallipoli by the ANZACS on April 25th 1915. Rosemary is for remembrance. "Lest we Forget"

"The Latin name of this plant (Rosmarinus officinalis) means "Dew-of-the-Sea" probably because rosemary generally grows well by the seashore. Rosemary was used as incense by the ancient Romans and according to legend, Mary sheltered the baby Jesus under a rosemary bush.

Rosemary is also known as "Rose of the Sea", "Rose of Mary", "Mary's Nosegay" The word nosegay comes from a Middle English word that meant "something pretty for the nose to smell."

"One of the loveliest of all herbal legends is the story of why rosemary has blue flowers. When the holy family fled into Egypt, a weary Mary spread her cloak on a white flowered rosemary. The flowers miraculously changed to the blue of Mary’s cloak. The Spanish name for rosemary is romero, or pilgrims plant, and derives from this legend. For botanical accuracy there is a species with white flowers, but the rest bloom in shades of blue.

Another legend states that rosemary will never grow taller than a person, nor exceed Christ’s age at death. Integral to Biblical and medieval gardens, rosemary is also found in Shakespearean gardens, for the various references to rosemary in his plays such as this line from Hamlet, "There’s rosemary; that’s for remembrance." ~ Secret Garden

The colourful Sweet William is known as "Our Lady's Tuft" and the legend connected to the title once again involves the Holy Family's flight into Eygypt. During one of their rests along the way, Our Lady rested upon a patch of Sweet William, as they grow in rounded tufts, like a cushion.

Petunias are named, "Mary's Praises". These blooms were named for the praises that rise from the lips of her devotees. I can only guess that when we really want to sing someone's praises, we want to 'trumpet them' to the world! Petunias are certainly very eye-catching trumpets!

"My Immaculate Heart is that secret garden

where all the virtues blossom in sweet harmony for the Trinity."

Diane C Farr

We planted in winter our vege patch.....

Now that it is spring, everything is growing! We are harvesting broccoli, cauliflower, cos lettuces and soon we will be enjoying our roma and cherry tomatoes!

It is certainly not hard to see the glorious season of spring all around us!


Kim said...

A most wonderful and beautiful garden! :D

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful post Anne! I hope that my fair does it justice!

Marie said...

Lovely post! One of the most enjoyable I have read. Thank you!

Steph said...

You just spin magic whenever you put your hand to something!
Couldn't agree more about the name of the rose- my 9 year old was looking over my shoulder and said,"that's an angel tea cup rose." I am inclined to agree.

rox said...

Just beautiful Anne . At first I thought the garden was at your church ! It is so neat , tidy and organized .
I also cannot believe how quick your winter was lol

Erin said...

Wow! You have worked so hard since we were there in May. to think none of that was there! It looks so beautiful; changes the whole look of the front of the house.

And you have put so much thought into your flowers. Love that tank for the vegie patch. Did you buy it or did Phil somehow make it?

Anne (aussieannie) said...

We bought the garden bed Erin, they are made from water tank material, if you could somehow make one of these you'd be on a good thing!

The tank is almost a metre from the ground and it is all no-dig layering right through it, the plants I'm sure, think their in heaven, everything is healthy and robust!

Anne (aussieannie) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Julia said...

Absolutely gorgeous! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful garden.

Therese said...

oh I love the garden. It is gorgeous. I think I will have to show it to my husband and see if he is interested in planting something in our back yard.

Elizabeth C. said...

Such beauty! Our Lady must smile as she looks at how you so carefully chose her flowers.

God bless,

Elizabeth C.

Anonymous said...

Anne, This looks so sweet and lovely. What an inspiration, I think we may have to finish what was in the pipeline last year with our little Mary Garden.
You've all done a great job Our Lady looks right at home amongst you beautiful garden.
God Bless
Love C

Anonymous said...

The pictures are just lovely.