A white Holy Spirit garden

A garden dedicated to the Holy Spirit would be all white, and has the added quality of seeming to glow in the darkness. Arrange textures in large groupings for greater effect, and vary the flowering season. You could use Annabel hydrangea for mid to late summer, Lenten rose for early spring, lilies and assorted annuals for in between.

The breath of God in gentle breezes

There is a movement to God that can be seen, though he himself is not. When the fronds of ornamental grasses float in late summer, we do not see the air that moves them. What we see is the effect of that delicate breeze. So it is with our Lord. Though we do not see the breath of God, we see his movement through our lives.

Honoring three archangels

In Catholic tradition, we honor three archangels, each of them symbolized by a color. St. Michael the Archangel is gold or orange, so poppies could be used.

St. Gabriel

St. Gabriel's color is silver or blue, and the herb lavender has both those colors.

St. Raphael

For St. Raphael, who is symbolized by yellow, consider a rose. You can use any plant matched to your USDA Hardiness Zone!

Using the Bible as a guide

There are many plants mentioned in the Bible, from the tiny mustard seed to the giant fir tree, and of course the grapevine. The fig, often mentioned, is a beautiful fruiting tree for the garden. Its large, richly veined leaves that turn gold in autumn, intricate branching form, and delicious fruit offer a reflection on the goodness of God for every season.


Rosemary is an herb—and a sizeable shrub in the Holy Lands—that would have been present at the Nativity. It was a common household item, like our dish soap, and used in bedding to keep bugs away. St. Joseph, having been a bachelor for so long, would have known to add those sprigs to the manger to protect the infant Jesus. Mary would have placed the family’s clothes to dry on its branches so the herb’s oils would be absorbed by the garments, again to protect from bug bites.

Plants from Christian legends and art history: Poppy

Red poppy is a flower for the Blood of Christ. Red is the color for martyrs.

Plants from Christian legends and art history: Ivy

The ivy represents “the one to whom we cling,” God himself. The ivy is also used at weddings for the same reason: husband and wife clinging together, and both to God.

Plants from Christian legends and art history: Lenten rose

Certain plants carry significance because of the time they bloom. One such plant is the Lenten rose, hellebore, which flowers before Easter.