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St. Clare Garden

St. Clare Garden

The Saint Clare Garden

This garden is a memorial to St. Clare of Assisi (c. 1193-1253), religious mystic and follower of apostolic poverty, spiritual friend of St. Francis, and the first woman in Western Europe to compose a rule of religious life for women.


Saint Clare Garden Quadrants

The garden contains plants arranged in five main groups to portray the stages of Clare's life.

  1. Childhood: Wild flowers native to Central Italy (PDF)
  2. Girlhood: Medicinal and Household herbs commonly used during Clare's time (PDF)
  3. Conversion: Lavender Garden, a symbol of purification, surrounding a basin, a symbol of baptism and conversion (PDF)
  4. Monastic Life: Kitchen Garden with typical medieval vegetables (PDF)
  5. Spiritual Life: Mary Garden, flowering plants traditionally associated with the Virgin Mary and Jesus (PDF)

The garden was installed at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, in 2003, the 750th anniversary of the death of St. Clare. Funds for the construction of the garden were donated by Bill Nicholson and his family in memory of Ruth Nicholson.


This web site was written and designed by Nancy Lucid whose research was supported by a generous grant from the Bannan Institute for Jesuit Educational Mission at Santa Clara University.  

For questions regarding the web site contact Nancy Lucid.  All rights reserved.