A blessing of the Marian Pollinator Garden was held on September 3. St. John’s Creation Care Team is happy to share some of the steps taken to install our new Marian/Pollinator Garden. In our application for Saint Kateri Habitat certification we expressed a desire to create a Marian/Pollinator garden in the future. We received our certification and signs, but also much support and advice in meeting this goal. There are many different kinds of flowers and herbs that take on Marian significance that can be planted in a Mary garden.
Pollinators are animals that move from plant to plant, searching for life sustaining protein-rich pollen. Pollinators are also an important source of food for other wildlife. This often unnoticed service is an essential contribution that requires human support. Unfortunately, this service is at risk from habitat loss, pesticide use, and introduced diseases.
In hopes of receiving financial assistance for this project, the Creation Care Team applied for a grant from Victory Noll Sisters via Catholic Climate Covenant. We were grateful and delighted to be awarded $700 to help fund our Marian/Pollinator Garden!
In December 2021 we began our soil preparation following the “Back to Eden” method of layering with newspapers, compost, and wood chips on the designated weedy surface. In March 2022 new irrigation and the attractive fence was installed.
The plants were then selected based on their native status, pollinator benefits, Marian connections, survival in full sun, and low invasiveness. When the weather was suitable, the following plants were installed in our new Marian/Pollinator garden.
The following plants are currently in our garden during this inaugural year: Rosa pisocarpa (Wild Rose or Cluster Rose aka “Heart of Mary”), Achillea millefolium (Yarrow aka “Christ’s back”), Lupinus (Lupine aka “Flight to Egypt”), Lobelia cardinals (Cardinal Flower, name alluding to robes worn by cardinals), Potentilla (Cinquefoil aka “Mary’s Hand of Pity”), Kinnikinnick, Spirea, Tagetes (Marigolds [There is a legend that Mother Mary used marigolds as money and so the early Christians put marigold blooms at her feet instead of coins as an offering]) and Zinnias. In seasons to come, we hope to continue adding to this space to provide a thriving space for our beloved pollinators.
Please visit our Marian/Pollinator Garden located next to the Garden of the Good Shepherd!
Many thanks to Saint Kateri Conservation Center and Catholic Climate Covenant along with many of our parishioners for their support and wisdom in realizing this dream.