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Mary Gardens Collections

Planting Seeds of Marian Devotion

A Mary garden is a collection of plants and flowers that have specific “Mary names” or religious names in addition to their botanical and common names. They may also include a statue of Mary, sometimes holding the infant Jesus, as a focal point for meditation. The Marian Library holds, and continues to grow, collection items related to Mary gardens — including the acclaimed John Stokes and Mary's Gardens Collection.

John Stokes, founder of the Mary's Gardens movement, donated his archives, manuscripts, artwork, personal library and website to the Marian Library. The transfer was complete in May 2013. Browse digitized highlights from the collection.

John Stokes and Mary's Gardens Website

Author of Mary's Flowers: Gardens, Legends and Meditations, Vincenzina Krymow was passionate about Mary gardens. The Marian Library has archived Krymow's research on Mary flowers and gardens as well as her research on other Marian topics. 

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Mary Flowers in the Art and Artifacts Collections

Flowers are often used as symbols in Marian art. This is very apparent in the Marian Library Art and Artifacts Collection. We would like to share two series of art from the collection which are soley focused on the flowers of Mary. 

Artist Holly Schapker was commissioned to create several paintings for University Libraries' Mary's Gardens exhibit in 2017. The series titled "Mary's Flowers in Contemporary Art" combines scenic portraits of the Blessed Virgin Mary with specific Marian flowers interspersed. View the archived website to see Schapker's paintings and read her statement for each piece.

Brother A. Joseph Barrish, S.M. created and-painted woodcut-style flower images to illustrate the book Mary’s Flowers: Gardens, Legends, and Meditations by Vincenzina Krymow. Just for fun, visit our activity page, Fun and Games with Mary, to play a matching game created to highlight Barrish's illustrations. 

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A Marian Library collection prompts library intern Yamilet Perez Aragon ’23 to ponder the Blessed Mother's presence in artwork, plants, an urban farm and her faraway family.

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Faith/Mission 08.17.21

A garden in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, prompted John S. Stokes Jr. to launch the Mary’s Gardens movement.

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