Herbaceous plants and hardwoods hold meaning in Christian art. Throughout history flowers have been used to signify personal affections. In the language of flowers there can be more than one connotation for a plant, though usually it holds the same sentiment.
In my book, A Catholic Gardener’s Spiritual Almanac, I share with readers how plant symbolisms relate to our Catholic heritage. I also guide you in how to create spiritually centered gardens.
In the Beatitudes (Mt 5:3-11) we find a guide for our journey to a personal resurrection. There are many plants that can be grown in your garden that relate to the sentiments of the Beatitudes, here are just a few. You can create a garden themed to a specific Beatitude—using trees, shrubs, flowers and herbs symbolizing, let’s say, meekness—or incorporate into an exiting garden just a few plants representing those Bible versus.
You can find out more about plant symbolisms in my book, online, or at the library.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: those who recognize their need for God and his loving grace. They may be economically poor and rich in faith. Unattached to the things of this world, they seek the kingdom of heaven.
Carnation, poor heart
Coriander, hidden worth
Blessed are those who mourn: those who lament their present state and weep for their sins, and for the souls in purgatory. They will be comforted by God.
Zinnia, thoughts of absent friends
Pansy, clarity of thoughts
Blessed are the meek: those who are far from being week, they possess an inner strength to restrain anger and discouragement in the face of adversity. They will inherit the world to come.
Sweet woodruff, humility
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: those who choose, as their first priority, to live rightly according to God’s will. They will be satisfied by God with eternal rest.
Black-eye Susan, justice
Red Poppy, consolation
Blessed are the merciful: they imitate God’s mercy by extending forgiveness to others. They are patient and understanding in bearing others’ faults, in being charitable and compassionate. They will receive God’s mercy in their final judgment.
Lady’s Mantle, comforting
Blessed are the pure in heart: those who act with integrity in their thoughts, words, and deeds. They intentionally act to keep themselves undefiled by evil and lustful thoughts. They will be united with God, will see the Beatific Vision in eternity as the angels see him now.
Dill, powerful against evil
Lavender, devotion and virtue
Blessed are the peacemakers: those who strive to live in peace with others, and attempt to sow peace in their world through sharing the Gospels. And to share the Word is to be a child, a son of God.
Iris, a message
Yarrow, everlasting love
Blessed are those who are persecuted: those who are abused, slandered, and oppressed for being a public witness to Christianity. They are a target for hatred. Persecuted Christians will receive great rewards in heaven.
Bay Laurel, glory
Moss, enduring devotion
(All images courtesy of morguefile.com)