Garden Grottos Anyone?


I am in love with the idea of creating a garden grotto and have the ideal space for one. When I broached the subject with my wife she said under no circumstances would there be a statue of any kind in any garden PERIOD. I asked why and was told that when the children bring their friends in to the garden to play she does not want them to think we are a wacky family and would not want our kids taunted for the actions of their father.

I am wondering if any of you have garden grottos and if you would mind posting a pic of it here? If she sees some she may just come around. I guess I am on the losing side this time but I will keep trying.


I don’t have one but it sounds like a beautiful idea! Does your wife share your faith? I would just explain to her how important it is and maybe compromise that you would only have one statue and that it wouldn’t be a very big one. Also, it doesn’t really sound like the type of place kids would go to pay in (although I know they get into everything!) so maybe you could explain to the kids that it’s a place for praying to God and appreciating the beauty of His creation.

Hope it works out for you (and I’m looking forward to seeing pictures if anyone posts any)! :slight_smile:


Your wife should see the area I live in…in som neighborhoods almost every other house has a Mary statue in the front yard! :smiley:

There’s nothing wrong with being proud of your faith! Personally I don’t know if I’d have a grotto in my yard, but I do have a Mary statue. :thumbsup:

The only way I would side with your wife is if she didn’t want you to make the whole yard into a grotto. That isn’t necessary–kids need place to run around. But a 3 foot Mary statue? That’s just a “I’m proud to be Catholic” thing…nothing your kids are gonna get made fun of. :slight_smile:


I do have a Mary garden. It’s in the front yard, right in front of our house. In May, we had a priest-friend of ours say Mass in our home and we processed outside to crown the statue. I’m sure some of our neighbors saw, but we are pretty close to all of them and they know we are devout Catholics and do some “wacky” (in their minds) things. But we’re all friends still, so no big deal! Even if it did bother them for some crazy reason, I’m sure we would still do it.

I do not think that anyone should be afraid of people knowing they are deeply faithful. Any way, Jesus did say, “Blessed are they who are persecuted because of me,” right?

I don’t have any pictures for you since our digital camera is broken, sorry!

BTW, I would personally love a grotto in our yard. DH and I have talked about building one,but so far haven’t had the time.


I have a Mary Garden with flowers and plants that are associated with Our Lady. (IMO it’s a great catechism tool.) In the garden I have three statues–one of our Lady of Grace, one of a cherub, and one of St. Francis.

I believe my garden (and statues) speaks volumes about what’s important to me (and who I am). IMO it’s a lot more dignified than our neighbor’s statue of two green toads kissing on a park bench. Now to me our neighbor’s statue is wacky! I guess that it’s all in the eye of the beholder. :wink:


Yes, it is a bit odd - people are happy to have SnowWhite & her 7 dwarves, gnomes galore, donkeys+carts and even the odd fat Buddha under the Buddlea but not a meaningful Christian statue or cross.

A suggestion - try her with angels (who look like fairies!) first and then move on to BVM. How about a Nativity scene for Christmas? After all a garden is for contemplation - right?

Go for it Fergal – the neighbours will be queuing up!!!


What Kevinsgirl, said.


Can you tell us more? I would love to do this (even have a spot picked out)…how did you choose the plants?**


I found this site back in '95:

Maybe it will help. It has lists of hundreds of Marian flowers and plants. Tells how to make several types of Mary Gardens as well.




I got a beautiful Mary statue for Christmass and its matching Grotto for Mother’s Day. The side of my house that doesn’t lead to the yard is kind of unused, and I would like to change that. I want to put the statue and grotto there to force me to visit daily for some prayers and quiet time. There are some lovely bushes there and a nice area in the middle that is perfect.
I have lovely landscaping and a nice bench to keep my home looking nice in the neighborhood, I can only think the statue in honor of Mary is even more beautiful than all those things to remind everyone of she who said “YES” to God for all of us. How can that every be wacky?
Posting a picture once it is set up!!!


I suppose in one sense I should not have used the word grotto as it is not a grotto in the Lourdes sense.

I actually meant I have a space that I know is crying out for a statue of Our Blessed Mother. I will post a pic here so you can see what I mean. It is empty without her :frowning:


Fergal, that looks like a great spot for a statue of Mary! :thumbsup: :smiley:


Fergal, perhaps your wife also misunderstands what you meant. Since you entitled your thread “garden grottos”, I envisioned a large area with stones and a huge statue. If what you want is to add a simple, small statue of Mary with some flowers to the spot in the picture, your wife still may not personally like garden statues, but she might not object to it. Some people don’t care for statues in the garden, yet most famous gardens include some type of art in proportion to the garden size and plants. A tasteful, simple birdbath or small statue can add interest to the home garden. Garden art can sometimes be out of proportion and then it look odd–I sense that may be what concerns your wife.


I’m surprised to hear anyone think’s it’s wacky! Around here soooo many people have statues of the Blessed Mother in their yards and in front of their house. And I don’t think this is a particularly catholic area.

Here is a photo of my small Mary garden. It’s a cool and quiet flower patch off of my patio. This was taken in early summer so not everything is in bloom. I go here almost every day and say a prayer.


Our very small garden (about 28 x 28 square feet) is about 7 feet below the yard behind ours and we grew English ivy up the retaining wall that climbs the fence. There’s a belladonna vine that hangs over that (very nice). The garage on the south and the neighbor’s six-foot fence on the north make a walled garden with our house on the west side. Snug and serene. This isn’t a good photo, but here’s what the back wall looks like, with St. Michael the Archangel standing guard between the cherry-laurel and the hydrangeas:


Also, I wanted to add that we add as many Mary inspired flowers as possible for this shady garden. This website has a great list of them:
Our garden is overflowing with bleeding hearts and columbine flowers in particular.


In our neighborhood, bleeding hearts are incredibly lush. We also do well with Christmas roses (hellebore) that bloom FOR-EVER: February through July!


Perhaps baby steps - begin with a lovely statue of St. Francis with some animals or birds?


One thing I would advise is to go big rather than small with any statuary. A 24" statue just vanishes in the tulips. Even 30" needs some enhancing. Put the thing on a decent pedestal.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit