The flowers that bloom outside Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilmington not only provide a “nice welcome” to people entering through either door of the church, they are also a way to give glory to God.

“They’re a very nice welcome,” said Geri Kogut, a parishioner who volunteers to help care for the seven barrels and five hanging baskets of flowers on church property.

But the colorful flowers are a way to give glory to God by beautifying His house. “They are His flowers, and we place them at a beautiful location,” she said.

The plants used change year to year, depending on the creativity of the volunteers, said Kogut, who likes to add pumpkins to the floral arrangements in the fall.

Beginning after Memorial Day, committee members care for the donated plants and make sure the plants are watered and weeded. The parish administrator, Herald of Good News Father Ilayaraja Amaladass, helps too.

Sometimes a volunteer will take plants home to care for over the winter and then return to the church the next spring.

Volunteers also take care of the grotto next to the church, adorning it with flowers in the warm weather and even adding lights to it in the winter.

If you’re already thinking of plants to use in your container gardens next year, recommends angelonias, begonias, impatiens, nasturtiums, verbenas and zinnias.

—Originally published in the Winter 2022 issue of Vermont Catholic magazine.