Today’s post launches a new feature on Digital Mom. Labeled “Unplugged,” this once-a-week focus on the non-digital will delve into the fun things we do away from the gadgets and the Web and their importance in our lives. The digital may be important around here, but let’s face it, there’s more to life.
This spring we started a Mary Garden, for us a little plot of soil near our front door dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary containing plants named during medieval times in honor of her. Flowers of Our Lady, a list that today stretches into the hundreds, served as reminders of her love and taught lessons in Christianity.
They do the same for us in our little garden. While we water or stop for a moment on our way in and out, we have the opportunity to think about God’s grace, Jesus’ love, and the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. They remind us that, like Mary, we must say, “yes.”
Our garden is home to the Emblem of Mary, the rose. Ours is a peace rose, a mother’s day gift from our godson. The Flower of the Cross, Sweet Alyssum, makes a pretty white border with it’s tiny flowers. Mary’s Gold, marigolds, and Infant Jesus’ Shoes, snapdragons, share space and their yellows in one corner. Our Lady’s Cushion, Sweet William, brings its happy pinks to the other corner. Then there’s our salvia, which I bought thinking it was on the list but then wasn’t. Its distinctive red blossoms look like little flames, so my daughter named it “Fire of the Holy Spirit.” Talk about inspiration! We also have a pink cala lily, which my youngest loved and really wanted in his garden. We call it Our Lady’s Slipper, although that name belongs to another. In pots around our Mary Garden we have violas, Our Lady’s Delight, and petunias, Our Lady’s Praises.
The missing piece of our Mary garden is an image of Mary herself to place among the flowers. We haven’t found her yet, but we will.
Along with the opportunity for personal reflection, choosing the plants and then planting and caring for them with my children has opened up beautiful exchanges with them. The labels we placed on each plant have inspired conversations with family and neighbors and allowed us to share our faith in the beautiful and simple form of a flower. Plant your own and see what happens.
Photo credit: Melissa Sais