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During the Middle Ages and Early Renaissance the planting of “Mary Gardens” was a popular devotional practice. These were gardens, filled with flowers, plants and trees named for Our Lady in which particular flowers represented specific virtues and excellences of Mary. The first reference to these gardens is from the life of St. Fiacre, patron saint of gardening, who planted and tended a garden around the oratory to Our Lady he built at his famous hospice for the poor and infirm in France in the 7th Century. Mary Gardens were designed to be places of beauty that allowed the pious to experience God's creation, while inviting prayer and contemplation.
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