Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Lady's Slipper

Marian Name: Our Lady's Slipper, Our Lady's Shoes
Common Name: Columbine
Botanical Name: Aquilegia x hybrida "Song Bird Blue Bird"

A gem from last year's planting, here's my newest favorite columbine from the Song Bird series. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this past winter's harshness will not hinder it's returning to the Mary Garden in time to celebrate Our Lady's month of May. But since columbines are notorious self-seeders, I'm pretty sure to have some of these beauties in the future. *

The common name, columbine, refers to the dove-like spurred flowers before they are fully opened. while its latin name comes from the eagle wings-like curved petals. The dove is commonly associated with the Holy Spirit.

Among the Mary legends surrounding the columbine is one which has the flower springing up wherever her feet touched the ground as she made her way to her cousin Elizabeth's to share with her the Joyful News.

Magníficat ánima mea Dóminum,
et exsultávit spíritus meus
in Deo salvatóre meo,
quia respéxit humilitátem
ancíllæ suæ

* 4/24/09---Oops, what was I thinking! Note the "hybrida" part of the botanical name. Hybrids usually do not come true from seed. So much for a continuous supply of this cultivar from seed. And of course columbines are fairly short-lived. Sigh...


What is a Mary Garden?

Mary Mother of God, Blessed Mother, The Virgin Mary, Our Lady, are just a few of the names we use to address her. And we honor her as Jesus’ Mother, ask for her intercession in our prayers and venerate her by invoking her name in grand and simple ways. We name glorious cathedrals after her as well as the humblest of roadside plants. In Medieval times, cloistered gardens sprung up with collections of herbs and flowers with Marian names, their common names extolling the virtues and attributes of Mary. These gardens came to be called Mary Gardens and the tradition continues to the present day.

For inspiration and research in creating my own Mary Garden, I have depended upon a book by Vincenzina Krymow called Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends and Meditations. My own knowledge and love of gardening, my niece Antonia’s manual labor and the guiding hand of Our Lady of the Barn have additionally helped me in the creation of “The Mary Garden at the Barn for the Poorest of the Poor.”

I will be posting pictures of the individual Mary flowers and plants in my Mary Garden along with the Marian Name, Common Name and Botanical Name. Additionally, I will give a brief run-down of the Mary legend(s) associated with that particular plant as well as my gardening commentary.


Monday, April 20, 2009

Welcome to the Mary Garden at the Barn!

This blog is a spinoff of my Statua Rinnovata blog, more specifically, the "Welcome to My Blog!" post, in which I detail the beginnings of my Mary Garden. It is my intention to use this blog as a journal, not only for the plantings in the garden. but for the comings and goings at the Barn and of its volunteers. So to that end, I have created a Barn Bulletin Board in the Sidebar and on the day of this blog inauguration, I am pleased to post the semi-annual Mass for the Barn at my parish church.

Detailed explanations of a "Mary Garden" and the "Barn for the Poorest of the Poor" to follow.