Computerized Mary Garden Design


With the availability of popularly priced garden design and general graphics software, Mary Gardeners can (1) create plans showing flowering plant locations by miniature digitized color images scaled and "pasted" to the plan - individually, or in clumps or sweeps - and (2) add photos of focal garden statuary, making the plans themselves virtual Mary Gardens.

Color print-outs of the sculpture and flowers of virtual Mary Gardens serve to quicken the viewer to reflection and prayer, as do the miniature illustrations of medieval books of hours.

The elements of computerized Mary Garden plant selection and garden design are:

  1. A computer library of miniature flowering plant images and accompanying close-up bloom photos - with accompanying info as to height, bloom color, bloom period, growth type, climatic zones, planting time, and soil, temperature, light and moisture requirements for each plant, as a basis for selecting those desired for the garden.
  2. Creation or importation of garden site and bed layout images on the computer screen.
  3. Selection and placement on the computer screen layout of miniature plant images from the computer library, to produce virtual garden images of beds and plants.
  4. Selection and placement of miniature Marian sculpture images, making plans virtual Mary Gardens.
  5. Final adjustment of statuary and plant locations for the integrity, proportion and clarity of the overall garden plan.
  6. Print-outs of
    • Virtual Mary Garden images showing over-all appearance.
    • Companion diagrams of Flowers of Our Lady placements in the garden bed(s) - by identifying number keyed to accompanying planting lists.
    • Summary listings of plants showing color, planting season and flowering season.

Our Procedure

For our own Mary Garden designs, we compose our layouts in FLOWERscape; save them to disk; and then open them in ClarisWorks and/or Painter for the addition of custom plot, plant, statuary and landscape graphics. We make our custom Painter floaters and nozzles from digitized plant and statuary photos in our color slide archives, scaled to size - making the backgrounds transparent using the masking and selection utilities of Painter.

In accordance with computer convention, we adapt our Mary Garden plans to a size which can be printed out on standard 8-1/2" x ll" or 11" x 17" printer paper (although landscape architects regularly use larger hand-drafted drawings). Since FLOWERscape at present only provides for 5" high garden plans, it is necessary to make plans for larger gardens in several segments - to be saved in separate files for subsequently joining together using ClarisWorks, Photoshop or Painter.

We are also examining commercially available landscaping software for positioning completed garden layouts from FLOWERscape, AppleWorks (ClarisWorks), Photoshop and Painter in a larger setting of grass, shrubs, trees and buildings, etc.

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This page, maintained by The Marian Library/International Marian Research Institute, Dayton, Ohio 45469-1390, and created by Cindy Osborne , was last modified Tuesday, 03/27/2012 10:19:14 EDT by Sumithra Kulkarni . Please send any comments to

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