Patsy Bell is a garden writer and Master Gardener Emeritus. She inherited her love of gardening from her grandmother and mother. Her favorite flower is whatever is blooming now. Her favorite season is whatever is next.

Recent Blog Posts

Sep 12
Kitchen Herb Bouquets  

Mar 18
The Legend of the Dogwood Tree  

Jan 29
Grow a Mary Garden   (2 comments)

Sep 17
Fried Green Tomatoes - Last Crop of the Season  




Grow a Mary Garden
by Patsy Bell Hobson - posted 01/29/13

A “Mary Garden” is a garden honoring the Virgin Mary. Mary Gardens, devoted and designed to honor Mary, are created by their design or the choice of flowers. Many plants and flowers have names relating to Mary. For example, Mary's slippers, Mary's Tears and Mari-golds.

Gardeners who grow Mary Gardens know the beautiful legend of sage. The legend of sage says that when Mary and her child were fleeing from Herod, no other plant would give her shelter but Sage. Virgin Mary told the Sage plant, “From now to eternity you will be the favorite flower of mankind. I give you the power to heal man of all illness and save him from death as you have done for me.”

As you plan your spring herb garden, consider this hardy perennial sage (Salvia officinalis). I grow it as a culinary herb, using it’s grey-green foliage fresh or dried. The blue-purple flower spikes attract pollinating bees to the garden.

In the Renaissance, some people claimed that sage cured epilepsy, insomnia, measles, seasickness and worms. Today, it is valued as a medicinal, culinary, and ornamental herb. A friend swears by sage tea as a sore throat remedy. An old French term for rosemary is incensier - incense.



RSS | Print

Share this story on:


Christopher (Louisiana - Zone 8a) - 04/09/2013

Hey Patsy Bell! Do you have a Mary garden? I'd love to seem some photos of it.
{screen_name}'s avatar

Patsy Bell Hobson (in Southeast MO between the Ozarks and the delta) - 04/09/2013

I have recently moved. Sadly, I do not have a Mary garden yet. I think, I'll go with a herbal Mary garden as I establish a new garden. This will include several varieties sage and rosemary. I am a great fan of beautiful blooming sage as a flower and as a culinary herb.
{screen_name}'s avatar