A month dedicated the Virgin Mary, the week of the Ascension and Pentecost?!
What better way to celebrate all three than to consider planting a rosary garden dedicated to the Glorious Mysteries?
In my book through Ave Maria Press, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac , is offered the following suggestions for a summer full of blooms:
Resurrection of Our Lord; Faith: Easter lily, Lilium longiflorum; Resurrection plant, Selaginella lepidophylla, comes back to life even though it appears dead. It is more often grown indoors as an oddity or specimen plant. Also any of the delphiniums, Delphinium spp. symbolic of our salvation.
Ascension into Heaven; Hope: Lilac, ascension flower, Syringa vulgaris cvs.; Snowdrops, Galanthus spp, signify the consolation that comes to those who are filled with hope; the sweet almond tree, Prunus dulcis cvs., symbolizes hope, watchfulness, and promise.
Descent of the Holy Spirit; Zeal: Columbine, Aquilegia spp., has petals shaped like a dove (columba is Latin for dove); Pentecost rose, peony, Paeonia officinalis cvs.
Assumption of Mary; Happy Death : The assumption lily, Hosta plantaginea, in most regions blooms around mid-August—and the bonus is its fragrance is similar to Easter lilies; Belladonna lily, Amaryllis belladonna, whose name literally means “beautiful lady,” leafs out in spring, dies back, and then sends up single stalks of flowers in mid-August.
Coronation of Mary; Love of Mary: Cornflower, Centaurea spp., Mary’s crown; Yellow flag iris, Iris pseudacorus, Mary as queen (be careful, this plant becomes invasive in some regions).
The plants mentioned above are only a few options. You could also section off the rosary garden by using colors to signify each mystery.
Begin by using all white flowers at the first Glorious Mystery the Resurrection of Our Lord; blue flowers at the second mystery for the Ascension into Heaven. Of course red is traditional for the descent of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost which is the third mystery. For the forth Glorious Mystery of Mary’s Assumption into Heaven, yellow suggests her luminous love of God and Jesus. For the fifth mystery, the Coronation of Mary, grow bright orange flowers for her crown.
Select hardwoods, annuals or perennials suitable to your Hardiness Zone and soil type. By planning for growing the right plant in the right place you will have a garden you can enjoy, and pray with, for years.