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All About Mary

Artane Mary Garden of Remembrance

The Garden of Remembrance commemorates the souls of the members of the Christian Brothers community and pupils, of beloved memory, laid to rest here--the blooming plants conveying a sense of their heavenly blossoming.

The plants likewise awaken remembrance of our own heavenly destiny; and also of the earthly paradise we are called upon to restore and the Peaceable Kingdom of love and justice we are to build, as instruments of the Spirit, in the redeemed world--in hopeful anticipation of their transformation into the New Heaven and New Earth on the last day.

To this end we can look to the flowering plants as direct creations of God, showing forth the divine beauty and splendor--to be emulated everywhere in Creation and in human society as a magnification of God's glory.

We can also call upon the rich flower and plant imagery and symbolism from scripture, liturgy and pious tradition to quicken remembrance of the revelation of the Trinity, and of the redemptive life, death and resurrection of Jesus, with which we are spiritually to unite ourselves.

In this we can behold the many flowers named in the country sides of Christendom as symbols of Mary's life and mysteries, such as the "Muire" flowers of our own Gaelic rural traditions--in remembrance and praise, and making tangible as it were, for our emulation, Mary's fullness of divine grace, love, sweetness, joys, sorrows and glories from her humble acceptance of God's will and call for her immaculate human cooperation, as Holy Mother of the Divine Word Incarnate, in the Redemption of world. Through Mary we are to be with the Lord, who was with her.

Finally, we are called upon, ascetically, to empty ourselves of this very remembrance of God through creatures and imagery, that "the soul may live in perfect and pure hope in God, soaring upward (when God grants us the favor) from images to the living God, forgetting every creature and everything that belongs to creatures ... thinking of them and considering them only to the degree necessary for the undertaking and performing of our obligations." (St. John of the Cross)

Continuation of Old Monastic Tradition

We are told St. Francis of Assisi loved plants so much that he took great care not to harm even the least wayside plant since it might bear a flower, symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Rose of Sharon.

Our own St. Fiacre, who lived in the seventh century had a garden near Meaux and beside it was a hospital, and an oratory dedicated to Mary. He is the patron saint of gardeners. St. Gall, from Ireland, who spent the last thirty years of his life in Switzerland, had a renowned garden at his monastery near Lake Constance.

The area used for growing plants for the decoration of churches and monasteries was known as a 'field of paradise' or a 'paradise.' Medieval monastery gardens had many of the plants with names reflecting religious life and thoughts, and prominent among them were those named in honor of Mary.

In this garden are more than thirty plants which are associated with Our Lady, and are listed below.

This garden has been designed and also the actual planting done by Brother Sean MacNamara, student of Irish Marian history, botanical researcher, and former Chairman of the National Garden Association of Ireland.

Inspired by Christian tradition in gardening, and drawing on contemporary horticultural practice and sources, he has produced a garden of both spiritual remembrance and horticultural excellence, with superb attention to bloom richness and continuity. As such, it can be a prototype for burial plots and cemetery gardens elsewhere.

The Flowers of Our Lady

Old Species and New Varieties of Our Lady's Flowers

In the garden can be seen a large and varied selection of plants, and there are always some in bloom.

On the thirteenth of April '91 the two rose beds were planted: in one the variety called Korresia which is a superb floribunda having large fragrant flowers; in the other bed, the variety 'Drummer Boy'.

On the third of October '91 twelve Pyracantha rogersiana were planted along the walls. This vigorous species of Firethorn produces white flowers in June and scarlet berries during Winter.

By having a variety of Ericas it means some are in bloom during different seasons. Apart from home grown we have Calluna vulgaris 'white', 'Beclay Gold', 'Kinrochruel' and 'Darkness' from Luss village on the western shore of Loch Lomond. Included in our native grown: Erica Darleyensis 'Darley Dale', and 'Molten Silver', Erica carnea 'FoxHollow', 'Pink Spangles' and 'White Glow', Erica vulgans 'Alba'.

The following herbs: Chives, common and golden Thyme, Summer Savory, Marjoram (Pot), Sage, Rosemary and Lavender 'Hidcote', and Munstead dwarf, have been planted.

Bulbs such as Crocus, Snowdrops, Muscari, Narcissi, Allium and Tulips 'Apledoorn' herald the Spring.

Planting of shrubs and conifers began on April 19, 1991. Since then, the following have been planted: Ceanothus 'Southmead', Berberis thunbergii, Hebe 'Autumn Glory', 'Carl Teschner' and 'Albicans', Cytisus praecox, Vinca minor and major, Euomymus 'Emerald Gaity' and 'Emerald 'n Gold', Thuja 'Rheingold' and 'Aurea Nana', Senecio greyi, Hypericum calycinum, Skimmia foremanii, Aucuba japonica 'variegata', Potentilla 'longacre' and fruticosa Marian, Red Robin, Populus variegata, Rosmarinus officinalis, Salix alba tristis, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Elwoodii', 'Boulevard', 'Snow', 'Ellwood's Gold'.

Also, Oxalis, Pansies, Violas, Campanula, Pinks, Bugle, Echeverias, Polyanthus Primroses, Aquilegia, Saxifraga London Pride, Hydrangea, Osteospermum, Mimulus, Astilbe, Nerine bowdenii, Begonias, Lilium regale, Erigeron, Honeysuckle, Primula wanda, Arabis, Cerastium, Genista, Lydia, Spirea 'Anthony Waterer'. Clematis, Stachys lantana, Sedum spectabile, Alchemilla, Cowslips, Primroses, Mallow, Helianthemum, 'CeriseQueen', Anaphalis triplinerris, Iris, Tansy, Feverfew, Forget-me-not, Wallflower,etc.

Copyright, Mary's Gardens, 1994

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The John Stokes and Mary's Garden collection was transferred to the Marian Library in May 2013. In addition to his archives, manuscripts, artwork, and personal library, John S. Stokes also donated his extensive website. It was transferred to the Marian Library in 2010. This particular entry is archived content original to Stokes' Mary's Gardens website. It is possible that some text, hyperlinks, etc. are outdated.

All About Mary includes a variety of content, much of which reflects the expertise, interpretations and opinions of the individual authors and not necessarily of the Marian Library or the University of Dayton. Please share feedback or suggestions with


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