The tradition of planting Mary Gardens goes back centuries. In the Middle Ages, when much of the population was illiterate, priests and religious would plant gardens and give the flowers and herbs religious names and symbolism in order to teach people about the faith. Reflecting on Marian flowers is the perfect starting point for meditating on the life of Christ through Mary—who always directs us to her Son. Roses: The rose symbolises Mary as the Queen of Heaven. The red rose represents sorrow. The white rose shows joy, and the yellow rose stands for the honour bestowed upon Mary as mother of our Saviour. Columbines: The red variety is often called the Pentecostal Holy Spirit flower because the petals look like tongues of fire pointing up, reminding us of the Holy Spirit coming down at Pentecost upon the Apostles' heads. The white variety are called “Our Lady’s Shoes”. Legend has it that everywhere Our Lady's shoes or her slippers touched when she was on her way to visit her cousin Elizabeth, little white columbines sprouted out of the earth marking her path. Pansies: ‘Our Lady's Delight,’ to remind us of how Our Lady delighted in Christ, in having him so close in her life. Lily: Legend says that the Angel Gabriel held a lily in his hands when he came to announce to Mary that she was chosen to be the mother of the Saviour. Lilies are often depicted in pictures of Mary as an indication of purity and grace. Violet: The violet is a symbol of modesty and simplicity; humble acceptance to the words from the angel Gabriel, "Let it be done unto me according to Your will.” Sunflowers: Have also been called “Mary’s Gold,” and can be reminiscent of Mary’s golden crown as Queen of Heaven and Earth. Fuchsia Bougainvillea: These flowers have the religious name of “trinitaria, for Trinity, because in the middle are three little white petals, that are surrounded then by the three pink petals. Rosemary and Lavender: It is believed that Mary hung the linens of the Holy Child on these to dry Jesus’ swaddling clothes. Afterwards, the bushes carried a sweet aroma. Bluebells: These bell-shaped flowers resemble tiny thimbles and represent Our Lady's working hands. Speedwell: This plant is also known as Mary's Resting Place. A legend tells that its blossoms marked each spot where the Blessed Mother rested during the flight into Egypt. Star of Bethlehem: The shape of the flower is said to resemble the star that the Magi followed to find the Christ Child. Lily of the Valley: Called Our Lady's Tears. It is said that her tears fell at the foot of the cross and turned into tiny fragrant blossoms. Marigold: Early Christians placed marigolds around statues of Mary in place of coins calling them Mary's gold.