For fleeting visitors, the red and white roses on the south side of the Maria Bildstein pilgrimage church are a real eye-catcher. It is, however, no coincidence that there are seven red and white roses. The roses symbolise the seven joys and seven sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
As in the case of the roses, the entire external setting of the Baroque church stems from the 17th century, dedicated to an ancient religious symbolism: flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Middle Ages, the world of symbols associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary was familiar to everyone. The flowers of the Blessed Virgin Mary were honoured, and thanks to their beauty and their medicinal powers, they were considered to be an effigy of heaven on earth. Judith Sperger, a gardener from Lustenau, did some intensive research before deciding on the composition of floral arrangements in the ten, circular flowerbeds around the church. She shares her knowledge in a small brochure; however, this knowledge is not a requirement for unlocking the secret of this garden. “This garden should not be a nature trail, but should simply strike a chord,” insists Judith Sperger. At the same time, she is convinced: “Everything that strikes a chord with us, and gives us joy, has therapeutic powers. And these plants speak their own language, and develop their own force”.