Pilgrim Garden: What It Is and Why You Should Make One

Each year, thousands of monarch butterflies migrate 2,000 miles across North America from Mexico to Canada and back again. Directly along their flight path lie both the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse and the Basilica in Mexico City.

It’s almost as if the butterflies that land in the Shrine gardens gather the prayers of pilgrims and carry them to Our Lady at her “little home” in Mexico—much like Saint Juan Diego gathered and carried flowers to his Mother in Tepeyac.

The Shrine Gardens play a major role in the pilgrim experience. But a Pilgrim Garden isn’t only for the Shrine—you can make one in your own backyard or even apartment kitchen, attracting butterflies on their way to Our Lady.

Here’s why you should cultivate a Pilgrim Garden, with tips to help you get started.

Gardening can be a prayerful experience. Flowers offer a beautiful tribute to the Blessed Mother, as they have done throughout the Guadalupe story and throughout the history of Marian devotion. After Saint Juan Diego brought his flowers to Our Lady, she carefully arranged them with the care and appreciation of a mother.

As we garden, we too can offer up our work and the beauty that bursts forth as an offering to Our Lady, asking her to arrange our works and present them to her Son.

The beautiful garden that results will be a peaceful sanctuary for prayer and meditation. It will be a reminder to daily entrust ourselves to the Blessed Mother and ask her to lead us to Jesus.

Wondering how to get started?

One easy way is by choosing our seed packets, filled with the Shrine’s wildflowers. Or find ready-to-plant seeds along with a beautiful message to remind you of your prayer with these Seed Cards.

With these two ready-to-plant seed options, available at the Flores Mariae gift shop, your garden will take shape in no time—whether in a flower bed or a small pot. You can even get this Mini Planter with Seeds to bless a small space.

Need more help getting started? Find more Marian gardening supplies at the Flores Mariae gift shop, and honor Our Lady from start to finish.