Create Your Own Mary Garden

Create Your Own Mary Garden

Creating a Mary Garden in your yard will help you honor Our Lady, teach your children about her, and give you a place to pray and ask her to intercede on your behalf.

By Anne Metz

Creating a Mary Garden in your yard will help you honor Our Lady, teach your children about her, and give you a place to pray and ask her to intercede on your behalf.


First you’ll want to choose a spot in your yard for your Mary Garden. Ideally, you’ll want a bright spot, that gets lots of sun. But don’t worry if you need to choose a shady spot, we’ll address that later. You’ll also want to consider how you want to use this area. Would you like your Mary Garden in a prominent place where you’ll see her often? Or, would you like to tuck her into a more private area where you and your family can retreat too when you’d like to have some quiet time in prayer? Once you consider all these things, pick your spot and prepare the soil for planting.

A Mary Statue

The basis for a Mary Garden is a statue of Mary. Your choice will depend on your budget and the size of your garden. If you are budget-conscious, shop around at thrift stores, wholesale landscaping warehouses, flea markets, and online yard sale sites. You can even try your local Buy Nothing Group!

If your garden space is small, you can even shop for smaller Mary statues that are designed for indoors. Just be sure to properly coat the statue so it can be left outdoors. If you are in an apartment, you can even use a small Mary statue and plants in a window box. This is the time to get creative in your small space!

The Flowers for your Mary Garden

There are certain flowers that are typically associated with Mary, so you might like to incorporate these into your garden.

Some Examples are

Lilies - Mary is often pictured holding a lily.

Columbine - also called Our Lady’s Slipper.

Roses - During May processions, a statue of Mary is often crowned with a ring of roses.

Marigolds - Early Christians were the first to honor Mary by planting flowers for her and marigolds were some of the first flowers they used.

But do not feel obligated to plant these specific flowers. Choose what you like and what works best in your space.

Since we honor Mary in her month of May, it is fitting to have flowers blooming in the Mary Garden during this month. In my gardening zone of 6a, flowers that bloom in early May are lilacs, creeping phlox, and azaleas, with irises, spiderwort, and bee balm on the way. Take a walk around your neighborhood, see what’s in bloom around you, and make a note of flowers you like.

As you walk around, you’ll also want to be aware of the sun exposure your favorite flowers are getting. If you have a shade garden, you’ll want to make sure you are looking for things that are growing well in the shade. Bleeding heart, azaleas, and hostas all do very well in the shade.

Annuals are also a great option for your Mary Garden. Planting annuals around your Mary Statue this year will give you time to plan out which perennial flowers you might like to plant while still giving you beautiful blooms for Mary. Planning on annuals every year allows you and your family to make sure you spend time visiting the Mary Garden each spring.

You’ll also want to consider the size of the plants. If you don’t have a large space for your Mary Garden, stick to smaller plants. You don’t want the plants to grow over the statue and cover your view of Mary. Larger plants or shrubs can be placed to the sides or the back of Mary. If you have the room for it, this option really anchors Mary into the space and defines the garden.

Spending time in the Mary Garden

Once you have your Mary Garden in place, plan to spend time there. If your Mary Garden is in a secluded section of your yard, use this area to pray. Bring your kids to the Mary Garden and tell them about her, her fiat, about how she is Queen of Heaven, our perfect Mother in Heaven who is praying for us and who will intercede for us. Teach your children to pray the Hail Mary here. Teach them about intercessory prayer. Teach them to trust in God’s plan for us just as Mary did.

If your Mary Garden is in a more prominent place, for example, by your front door, it may not be convenient to enter into deep prayer each time you pass it. But you can create the habit of praying a Hail Mary every time you pass her statue. What better way to enter and leave your house each day?

There is a lot to consider when creating a Mary Garden, but don’t overthink it. As a gardener myself, the best way I’ve learned is by making mistakes. You can always change out plants or move things around to get the feel you want in your Mary Garden. The most important thing is to remember why we create Mary Gardens - to honor Mary.

When she’s not writing about faith, Anne Metz works for Growing Catholics, whose mission is to bring Scripture to all, especially tweens and teens.


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