We love front yard shrines of every type, no matter how elaborate or simple they are. And sometimes, we love the simplest ones best. NOTE: If you see a blue border on an image, like the one below, click to enlarge if you wish.
We have lots of shrines in our garden. Here is one for Saint Joseph who holds the Infant Jesus. He presides over our herb garden. Although his back is to our outdoor dining table, he is always present as the patron of our home, the saint who ensures that the work of our hands provides the food that we eat.
In the side flower bed, there is an old marble pedestal with a Cross motif that once held a simple white concrete Blessed Mother. She is now in the front yard of the organist I once worked with. A gift when she bought her grandmother's house.
In the backyard tucked under the rose bushes is the small, original white painted concrete Virgin that we purchased when we first bought our home. One thumb is broken off, and so we got her inexpensively. She was all we could afford after the purchase of the home. She once graced a pine tree stump with a little step for a votive candle in the front of the yard but that is gone now.
In another bed of struggling roses is yet another Virgin in her Shrine, and tucked away in a corner is an Infant of Prague I found in a yard sale who is terribly in need of repair.
At the moment, I have my eye on a 5' tall Our Lady of Grace ... if only I can figure out how to move her. Never mind where to put her!
Yes, we probably have too many front and back yard shrines. But ... we love them! And so, it seems, do the people who pass by our house and pause a moment to bless themselves.
We hope you enjoy our
gallery of shrines.
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to see them!
Click on images to enlarge.
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As you look through this collection, we hope you'll draw inspiration and an understanding of how very much Catholics love our Mother Mary.
You'll see beautifully designed gardens with classic layouts, broken Virgins that are too well loved to part with, an aged and cracked Virgin Mother so well loved that the owner has knit a little shawl to keep her warm in winter.
There are some classic bathtub Virgins, using an actual bathtub, and one that features an old refrigerator. Some have lights. Some have shells and even swans! But one thing is clear ... Catholics honor the Blessed Mother.
Do we have a favorite? We love them all. The one that makes us smile the most is this one. A picnic with the Holy Family. Saint Therese, who was always offering little sacrifices, seems to have stayed away from the table.
Speaking of photos that make you smile, in case you haven't already seen the now famous newspaper clipping of a baby talking to a garden statue of the Blessed Mother ... here it is. Click to enlarge.
Take the message of this little child to heart. Teach little ones to love the Virgin Mary early in life and they will love her for eternity.
We hope you enjoy these photos and encourage you to share yours with us. Click on the images to enlarge.
My very good friend Emma Grace, who loves to pick flowers from the butterfly bush in our Mary garden.
Our Readers Share Their Garden Photos
Jackie and O.J. sent us these beautiful photos of their Wayside Shrine and Marian Shrine entitled Fall in the Ozarks. Thanks for showing us how a peaceful walk amid the glorious colors of autumn can bring us closer to God and His Mother. Click images to enlarge.
Maryann has a talent for combining textures and colors in these two beautiful Mary dish gardens below.
The succulents and blooming cacti are a perfect combination for a garden in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe and echo the natural surroundings of Tepeyec. We couldn't help but notice that the two tiniest blossoms have turned their faces toward Our Lady!
In Maryann's outdoor dish garden, a tender portrayal of Our Lady and her Little Son in white are offset by colorful annuals. We can almost pick up the sweet scent of the alyssum that forms a soft snowy carpet at their feet. This particular Mary Garden provides a wonderful meditation piece -- Our Lady seems to look at her Son with complete delight in His Childhood -- although we can be quite certain that she was aware of His Divinity. He, in turn, seems to gave with childish wonder at the brightly colored blossoms beyond His Mother's smiling face -- the Creator taking delight in His Creation. Thank you, Maryann!
Robyn, a longtime friend from Australia, invites you to visit her Sustainable Gardening site. She is one of the most knowledgeable people we know on the subjects of permaculture and no dig gardens -- a boon to anyone who has suffered a back injury. It's chock full of ideas and resources -- so why wait? Go there now! Everyone knows the best gardening is done in the dead of winter -- from your armchair!
Visit Robyn's blog, too. She has kept us entertained for years with stories of kangaroos in the front yard and wallabies in the bread bin.
One more "Don't Miss This" -- Robyn has created the most magnificent Monet - inspired garden embroidery art pieces. When on earth she has time, we can't imagine ... but take a peek and get inspired.