Mary Gardens, gardens planted with herbs and flowers that through the ages have been associated with the Virgin Mary, can be said to have roots that go back to times before Christ. Even then, herbs, especially their blossoms, served as symbols of everything that was pure and holy, as found in Christ and his Virgin Mother. Legends regarding many of these flowers abound in Christian folklore. For instance, it is related that Ornithogalum arabicum , Star-of-Bethlehem, first appeared on this earth on the night of Christ's birth. According to the legend, the star that led the three wise men to Bethlehem burst into thousands of fragments after it had stopped at its destination. These bright fragments which fell to the ground were transformed into flowers, indicating to the Magi the holiness of the area.
Medieval Flowers of the Madonna : University of Dayton, Ohio
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Flowers associated with Mary, the Mother of Jesus, are deeply intertwined with ancient lore that can be traced back beyond the Christian era. In heathen mythology almost every common plant was the emblem of a god; every tree was the abode of a nymph. The laurel was sacred to Apollo in memory of Daphne who was changed into a laurel while escaping his advances.
Flowers have always been associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary. In particular, there are five flowers that are closely connected to the Virgin Mary and are often used in art to symbolize different spiritual truths about Our Lady. The lily symbolizes purity, innocence and virginity.