Written by Sherry
Friday, 23 March 2007 20:28
Tis the season when gardeners everywhere begin to plan and delve - except in the Rockies where they insist that we can't plant until mid-May (although I recently had a long time resident insist to me that you don't dare plant any flower until Memorial Day here, Just try and stop me!) But my lilacs are beginning to bud - they know they are in lilac heaven and refuse to acknowledge that they are not allowed to flower before June in the high country.
Which brings us to the subject of the long and rich traditions that Christians have long practiced regarding gardening. The painting below is of St. Thomas More's garden. with his grand-daughter in law and great grand son in front.
More loved his garden and used it as a place for contemplation. The garden was famous in More's day and he entertained King Henry VIII there. Walled gardens had symbolic importance for they represented chastity and distance from worldliness. Lockey may have painted this garden in the background of the picture to symbolise More's moral wisdom as well as his love of gardening.
St. Thomas would have loved this wonderful website: The Catholic Garden. Mary gardens, Rosary gardens, Trinity gardens, Cistercian gardens, - they are all here with wonderful links and pictures.
As the Catholic Garden website points out, gardens can evangelize, feed the hungry, heal the sick, and bring comfort to those in prison and they provide links to resources for all of the above.
Or perhaps guerrilla gardening is your call. Guerrilla gardeners in London are planting illicit gardens in abandoned spots around London, subverting the status quo with beauty, nature, and civility. Check out this map of guerrilla gardens all over the world, including the US!
Another amazing source is the Marygardens homepage.
Into medieval plant symbolism or want to see pictures of the Mary Garden at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception or the Marian shrine at Knock? It's all here along with detailed instructions on how to plant a Mary garden in your yard or on your patio.
The medievalist will love visiting Penn State's medieval garden.
As Gerard Manley Hopkins wrote:
And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs--
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.