I’m a fan of Mary Gardens. At least in theory.

When it comes to the details, though, I get a little fuzzy.

First, I have to figure out a budget for buying all those special plants. Then, I have to make the time to actually do it. And there’s sure to be more steps, and I’m sure to forget something.

It is with my own lazy streak firmly in place that I offer you these tips for a Mary Garden even I can handle:

1. Get some petunias or impatiens and day lilies.

You can’t kill petunias. I can’t speak about impatiens as I have mostly full-sun beds, but I’m pretty sure that they’re hardy enough to last through the summer with shade and water.

Day lilies are my go-to perennial. They’re beautiful and sassy and, best of all, EASY to maintain.

These flowers, by the way, are Marian indeed. The uplifting blossoms from petunias represent Mary’s praises. Impatiens represent a mother’s love.

Though I can find no documentation of this, my love of day lilies and their bold colors, hardy nature, and cheerful countenance are surely a reminder of the Blessed Mother.

2. Plant them.

I leave the mulching optional, and how you put them in the ground or containers is completely up to you. You’ll have blooms all summer long, thanks to the petunias or impatiens.

3. Make it Marian.

This is the part I struggle most with, believe it or not. I don’t have a statue. For one thing, they’re not cheap. For another, I’ve never found just the right one.

So if, like me, you don’t have a statue, consider other ways you can make your garden Marian. You’ve already planted the flowers with her in mind. What if you put a special chair there? Or if you commit to praying a rosary or some devotion there each day?

4. Enjoy it and share it.

Pull up a chair and enjoy the beauty in front of you. Pick a few blooms and take them inside so you can enjoy them there, too. And be sure to share it! Whether it’s with your kids or your friends, there are plenty of others who will like the work you’ve done!

5. Learn more about Mary Gardens.

It’s the teacher in me, wanting to give you homework, I guess. Check out the Mary Gardens website from the University of Dayton and learn all you could possibly want to learn. See if it doesn’t help your faith journey, too!

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