Book Review: Making a Marian Garden

Book Review: Making a Marian Garden

A Garden for Our Lady by Felicity Surridge, Gracewing, 97pp, £9.99
 
reviewed by Ella Preece
 
A Garden for Our Lady is informative and easy to read, beginning with a history of Mary gardens and then talking about them in the context of a parish project or for personal use in the home. It has certainly inspired our family to plant a Marian garden. The book discusses all the plants that have legends and links with Mary, giving each a little paragraph. I had not realised that so many plants had links with Our Lady. Many of the plants in my garden qualified, and I wondered how I would make a Marian garden have a clear distinctness in relation to the rest of the garden.
 
A teaching tool
 
The great number of Marian plants makes these gardens accessible to all people, varying from herb garden, flower garden, basing the theme on the particular meaning of the flower or just the budget that you have. The garden allows a focal point, a moment of peace and reflection in our busy lives as well as a teaching tool for deepening your children’s faith and understanding through the discussion of which plants you pick and why, and which aspects of Christ’s ministry and teaching they remind us of.
 
The book is split into sections that allow easy reference, there is a discussion of the plants and their meanings in a Marian context; tables that suggest various flowers for each of mystery of the Rosary, including a short meditation; a selection of Marian hymns, several pieces of art with the discussion of the use of flowers in the piece, and to conclude a table summing up the plants common name, botanical name and Marian name.
 
The parish community
 
Creating a Marian garden on a parish level would certainly enrich the parish community, allowing on a practical level for the community to come together to tend the garden and pick seasonal flowers for it; as a focal point for Marian devotions to take place as a parish community or even just a place for people to come to when they need some time for personal prayer, particularly if the Church is unable to be left open but parishioners can sit on a bench outside.
 
I would recommend this book: it is concise, informative and easy to use; handy for those who have a Marian garden but want easy referencing to the plants, meanings, meditations etc; for those wishing to set about making their own on either a personal or parish level; or even those who are just curious about them and want to know more.

 

Notes:

Ella Preece is a home-educating mother of four, whose hobbies include archery, juggling and general adventuring.