A Garden Design That Celebrates The Patron Saints of Gardens, The Gardeners, and Nature

A garden created as a sacred space, honoring the patron saints of gardens and gardeners, is an area for reflection, meditation and prayer, containing flowers and decor that has inspirational items as its decor, that are related to one or more patron saints of gardens and gardening. It is by no means exclusive.... just pick your saints, but concentrate on the garden patrons. An All Saints Garden would be gorgeous if you wish to make it all-inclusive. I like the idea of incorporating a Mary Garden. Statuary and ideas for that sacred garden-within-a-garden are endless and phenomenal. It's stunning when it's accomplished

Religious garden statues are often the focal points of a saint garden. Often, this statuary is of the Virgin Mary or of a particular patron saint of the garden, or  an entire garden full of of angels and saints. The space need not be big. 
It can be a beautiful surprise in a corner or a nook, or a not-so-secret fragrant flower garden among or between shrubs and trees. Or a special focal point in a Moonlight Garden.

A bench or several, or natural seating areas would be included in the garden, where the visitor can sit, reflect and meditate. Inclusion of birdbaths and feeders, wind chimes, and anything related to nature and wildlife should also be included. Combining this design with components of the Feng Shui Garden design, or the Monastery Garden, is also unique and desirable.

A beautiful Sacred Mary Garden design plan can be combined with this garden, and would make a spectacular retreat. Visit this page for ideas and beautiful Marian artwork.

Statuary is almost essential. The beautiful visuals help us to be grateful, prayerful and meditative when we walk through or sit in that garden. Read further down the page to read about the saints associated with the garden and Nature.

This year, I dedicated my front yard garden design to the patrons, saints and angels. My favorite and most often seen in my gardens is St. Francis, patron saint of gardens, gardeners, and wildlife. The best place online to buy the best and most beautiful garden statuary is Design Toscano. There are hundreds of these saints and other garden statues available from Design Toscano and other religious statuary sellers on Amazon. 

Here's who's revered and protecting me, my garden, and the wildlife.


Some Flowers To Grow In A Garden For The Saints

Lilies of all types represent virginity, and the Madonna Lily is named for and associated with the Virgin Mary. 
St. Dominic, the patron saint of astronomers, is commonly seen in paintings holding a lily symbolizing chastity. 
All of the virgin saints have a lily as their emblem. St. Anthony is associated with lilies because it is said that cut lilies placed near his shrine or statue will stay fresh for many months.

Other flowers associated with Mary can be found here.

Palms are common  in ancient paintings of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. 
I grow Dwarf fig trees in my garden, considering it's Biblical associations. It works well in big pots along a path, or within a flower bed. It's relatively small size, and incredibly sweet fruit, fit perfectly into the theme. There are dwarf and cold hardy varieties to choose from, or winter them in pots indoors.

Roses are the significant flowers. The Virgin Mary is known as the “mystic rose’ or the “rose without thorns.” 
St. Cecilia is often shown alongside roses. Along with the  palm, the rose is a symbol of martyrdom. St. Elizabeth of Hungary is associated with a miracle of roses. St. Rose of Lima is also associated with them. Mary is also associated with the Iris. A climbing rose, potted rose tree, or ground roses look and smell wonderful. Irises are perennial and come in all sizes. 

Plant shrubs and flowers that attract birds and butterflies to encourage a spiritual  remembrance, and to encourage birdsong. Create a bird and butterfly habitat in or around your garden retreat in celebration and honor. Plant tubular vines like trumpet vine and Angel's Trumpets to attract and feed the hummingbirds. 

Any beautiful and fragrant flower should be planted, and a sacred-style decorative item placed nearby. Especially one that might have a special meaning for you. Do not forget the fragrances of flowers and healing herbs, which will add to the meditative and healing effect of the garden.

The Patron Saints of the Garden and Gardeners

Many saints are patrons of the garden and natural world, and statues of them are a beautiful addition a saint garden. 

St. Dorothy is the patron of fruit tree growers and orchards, St. Isidore is the patron or farmers, and St. Francis of Assisi is the patron saint of gardens, birds and animals. St. Bernardo Abad, is the patron saint of beekeeping, St. Urban the patron saint of vineyards and grape growers, St. Fiacre is the patron of herb and vegetable gardens, St. Elizabeth of Hungary is patron saint of roses, and St. Phocas is the patron of flower and ornamental gardens.

Saint Francis of Assisi

St. Francis has always been my favorite saint and patron of the garden. I think of him often, as I go about tending the gardens and bird habitats.

Francis was an Italian religious leader and Catholic mystic, who founded the  religious order known as The  Franciscans. 

He is known as the patron saint of animals, birds, and the environment.

Francis, who spent his life in poverty and simplicity, realized how important nature is to man. When Francis received the stigmata, it is said that his blood turned into roses when it fell upon the ground. 

St. Francis believed that all creatures, not just humans, must be included in the celebration of Christmas. 

He requested that the emperor ask all citizens to scatter grain along the roads on Christmas Day, so that the birds and other animals would have  plenty to eat. He also requested that walls should be rubbed with food, and the beasts in the stable should receive a bountiful meal on Christmas Day.

Gentle Francis preached to the birds and tamed a wolf. "The Canticle of The Creatures" was Francis' song of praise and joy., and he shared it with the birds as he preached.

St. Fiacre

Saint Fiacre is the patron saint of growers of vegetables and medicinal plants, and gardeners in general.

He is commonly invoked to heal persons suffering from various infirmities, due to his reputed skill with medicinal plants.

Fiacre was born in Ireland, and raised in a monastery. His days at the monastery taught him the joys of planting and harvesting crops and an appreciation of nature.

He was a  hermit and gardener of the seventh century, who was famous for his sanctity and skill in curing illness and disease. He emigrated from his native Ireland to France, where he constructed for a hermitage for himself, together with a vegetable and herb garden, and a hospice for travelers.

Fiacre decided he wanted to serve God in solitude, and he established his hermitage for worship along the Nore River, using a cave for meditation, a well for drinking water, and the river for bathing. 

St. Fiacre petitioned the bishop for land where he could grow a healing herb garden. The bishop promised Fiacre as much land as he could entrench in a day. Fiacre then paced the perimeter of the land he desired, dragging his spade behind him. Wherever the spade touched, trees were toppled, bushes uprooted, and the soil was entrenched.

This miracle garden became a place of pilgrimage for those seeking healing. 

We often hear stories of  St. Francis and St. Fiacre. 
But there are several more Patron Saints of Gardens and Gardeners deserving mention

St. Adelard (pronounced Alard)
- He was  minister to Charlemagne. He was later the abbot, as well as gardener ,at the Abbey of Corbie in Picardy. In church art, he is portrayed digging in a garden, his abbot’s crown lying on the ground beside him.

St. Ansovino 
- During a terrible famine in Italy, Bishop Ansovino persuaded the haves to share with the have-nots. He is portrayed standing beside a barn, holding fruit and garden produce, and is invoked for good harvests.

St. Brigit
 - Brigit grew up in Ireland as a farm worker on her father's land. Legend has it that she may originally have been a priestess of the goddess Brigit, who had powers over healing, poetry, creativity, inspiration, grain, cattle, and flowers. History documents the friendship of Saint Brigit and St. Patrick, and it is possible that Patrick converted this pagan priestess to Christianity.
Saint Brigit,  has been described as “Brigit, flowering  branch,”. Her attributes include the wearing of white wool and a white veil, and is often she portrayed standing beside an altar on which burns her perpetual fire, accompanied by wild geese or an ox.

St. Cuthbert
 - Born in Scotland, Cuthbert lived alone on a small island. Late one spring, well past time to plant a crop, he put barley into the ground. In spite of its the late planting, the barley flourished -- until the birds arrived to decimate his little field. Scolding, he asked them why they took what belonged to someone else. If God had given them permission, fine, but “…if not, get you gone, and do no further injury." The birds immediately flew away, and never bothered his crops again. He is often shown surrounded by animals, including otters, who waited upon him as he prayed, standing knee-deep in frigid waters.

St. Dorothy of Caesarea - Patron of horticulture, florists, gardeners, orchards
-Dorothy refused to marry, saying that Jesus was her spouse. She was mocked on the way to her martyrdom by a lawyer who told her to send him apples or roses from her husband's (whom she claimed was Jesus) garden. As she prepared to die, she saw a girl with a basket of roses and apples, and asked the child to take these to the lawyer. The girl, actually an angel, did so. In art, Dorothy (Dorothea) is shown carrying the basket, and wearing a flowery crown, or in an orchard where the infant Christ can be seen above her in an apple tree.

St. Elizabeth of Hungary - Patron of rose gardens and rosarians
-Elizabeth was secretly taking bread to the poor when her husband, the king, asked her what she was hiding beneath her apron. When she pulled it aside to show him, the bread had turned into roses. She is portrayed with a crown of roses, carrying bread. Add a statue and flowers for Mary to the garden. She is known as "The Mystic Rose".

St. Isadore The Laborer, Spain - Patron of farmers, market gardens, field workers, and shepherds. 
-Isadore's employer once found angels doing Isadore’s work behind the plow, while Isadore himself knelt in prayer. Isadore the
Worker is portrayed carrying a sickle and a sheaf of grain.


St. Nathan - Patron Saint of Farmers
-Born in Aberdeenshire, Bishop Nauchlan or Nathalan, had spent much time laboring in the fields, and was renowned for his agricultural skills. He was also known for his generosity. Once, having given away all his grain during a famine, he sowed sand for lack of seed, and was miraculously rewarded with a plentiful harvest.

St. Phocas, The Gardener, Turkey
-Patron Saint of flower and ornamental gardens,  farmers, field hands, market gardeners

Phocas, an innkeeper and gardener, was revered for his hospitality as well as his generosity, sharing all he grew with those who were hungry.

St. Rita of Cascia, Italy - Patron of Impossible causes, roses, bees
-As Rita lay on her deathbed in her convent, her cousin asked if she wanted anything from her old home. She asked for only a rose and a fig. Although the cousin thought it would be a wasted trip, she walked to Rita's snowy garden, where she was amazed to find rose in bloom, and a single ripe fig. Rita is shown with roses and bees.


St. Swithin - England - Patron Saint of rain, invoked to end drought

St. Magnus of Füssen, Bavaria
-St. Magnus is Invoked against vermin, hail, lightening, caterpillars. St. Magnus watches over plants and the harvest. Legend tells us that Magnus once rescued a baby dragon and trained it to help local farmers by hunting rats and other vermin that destroyed their crops.


St. Therese - "The Little Flower
-St. Therese loved nature, and often used the imagery of nature to explain how the Divine Presence is everywhere, and how everything is connected to God. Therese saw herself as "the Little Flower of Jesus" because she was just like the simple wild flowers in forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population. Therese did not see herself as a brilliant rose or an elegant lily, but simply as a small wildflower.


St. Cecilia
-St. Cecilia is the patron saint of music, and in sacred gardens there are sometimes statues or individual garden spaces that honor her. Tardens often have bird feeders, bells, wind chimes, and water features to emphasize nature's music. Plants with berries for the songbirds and tubular flowers like trumpet vines for hummingbirds are often included.

Saints Gallery

and not just patron saints....

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