Mary Gardens: A DIY Windowsill Display

Document Type


Streaming Media

Presentation Date


Conference or Event Name



University of Dayton Marian Library archivist Kayla Harris and library specialist Melanie Fields '18 grow your knowledge of the many flowers and plants named as symbols of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Harris and Fields explain the history of the Mary's Gardens movement through the collection of the founder, John S. Stokes Jr.

Harris and Fields demonstrate three examples of windowsill Mary gardens while describing the types of plants to consider. They share images of dish gardens featuring various types of settings, plants and Marian statues for inspiration. Learn from their examples, then build your own or follow along live.

Materials supplies list:

  1. Glass container - Rinsed and clean.
  2. Gravel, pebbles, stones, etc. (enough to fill the bottom of the chosen container by 1 inch)
  3. Plastic sheet (to be cut roughly to the size of the container and poked with holes for drainage)
  4. Potting soil (for best results, consider mixing in some peat moss)
  5. Choice of ferns (make sure the plant is not too large for the chosen container). Easy care: Plumosa fern (Our Lady's Hair); intermediate care: Maidenhair fern (Our Lady's Hair)
  6. Marian statue (small enough to fit comfortably in chosen container. Should be made from a material that will not deteriorate, such as resin, ceramic, etc.)
  7. Scissors
  8. Pen for tracing and punching holes in plastic
  9. Plastic cup for scooping gravel and soil.
  10. Decorations such as moss (gathered from outside); rocks; or anything else you would like to include in the design


Materials from this program are available free:

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