Darlene Foster's Blog

A Home For St. Francis

Posted on: June 7, 2015


Inspired by a post about a garden sculpture on Smorgasbord – Variety is the Spice of Life , I thought I would share a story about my special garden statue, St Francis of Assisi.

The first time I visited Spain, eleven years ago, I fell in love with the beautiful gardens. The colourful flowers surrounded by ceramics and sculptures, including those of St. Francis, warmed my heart. I was tempted to bring a statue home with me. Of course it was not practical to purchase a large figure and drag it back to Vancouver, Canada.

You can imagine my delight on my next birthday, when my dear husband surprised me with my very own St. Francis. The sculpture lived in our garden for over ten years surrounded by various plants and pets. He is known as the patron saint of animals and the environment and I always felt he blessed my garden. It made me very happy to be able to see him from my living room.


Hidden behind the California lilac

Hidden behind the California lilac


Last year we decided to move to Spain. Packing up a large heavy figure and moving it to Spain (where they are in abundance,) was not practical. So I rolled him up in a blanket, packed him in my car and took him to my daughter´s island, where I knew she would find a good home for him. She recently sent me a picture of my St. Francis on her property. He looks very much at home, don´t you think?  I believe he is blessing her environment and animals.


Considering my daughter is a potter, I thought this quote by St. Francis very appropriate.

St. Francis

Someday, many years from now, someone may come upon St. Francis in the forest, on a small gulf island, and wonder how he got there. Perhaps it will become a legend in a hundred years or more.

To read the wonderful story that inspired me to write about my garden sculpture click here:


Do you have anything special in your garden?

If you haven´t commented on my previous post, Pig on Trial, you have until Friday June 12, when I will make a draw for a free copy of my bi-lingual book.

51 Responses to "A Home For St. Francis"

Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
Thank you so much Darlene for sharing the link to my story incorporated in your own wonderful garden tale of St. Francis.. I am so pleased that he is now taking care of your daughter and her garden and hope you have replaced him with another here in Spain.. lovely story.

Thanks for reblogging and for the inspiration of course!

He seems to have ended up in a perfect spot, I hope he inspires anyone who passes by. One peculiar thing that I have in the garden is an old toy tin truck that was left in the attic of the house by previous owners. I don’t know how long it had sat there rusting away, but it’s now sitting in the garden with marigold seeds planted in it. I’m hoping they’ll come up and fill the truck will flowers.

What a great use for the toy truck. I would love to see a picture when it is filled with marigolds!

I’m not sure if they’ll come up or not. There are a few little seedlings poking through the soil but I wonder if the truck is deep enough for their roots. If it works I’ll post about it for you. 🙂

Marigolds are pretty hardy so I believe they will grow in the little wagon. Look forward to the pictures later.

Great post, loved the photos of your garden. Thanks also for the link of the little girl lost. Very interesting.

It was a nice garden considering it was an apartment. I hope the new people love it as much as we did. The little girl lost is a cute story.

He looks perfectly at home living among the trees, animals and humans on your daughter’s island. My heart fairly leaped when I saw the title of this post. I, too, have written about my St. Francis who stands in a corner of our yard out in the country now.

Yes, that´s right, you did write about it. I remember thinking at the time, I must write about mine someday. If you send me the link I will add it to the post as well. I think it is the perfect spot for him!

When we left our Midlands town of Halesowen we left behind a huge burgundy Japanese Acer . In the autumn it was the same colour as my conservatory. I bought it as a twig 26 years ago .
So the other day I bought my new one for my new home here in West Wales . It’s much bigger than a twig about three foot …I hope I’m around to see it huge and wholesome like my other
I loved your story . Great to know Francise is in the capable hands of your daughter and her delightful cat .

I too hope your new tree grows and flourishes like the previous one. I know St Francis will be very happy where he is surrounded by nature and many wild and tame animals.

These are both lovely gardens and I’m happy your St. Assisi found a new home in your daughter’s garden!

I grew up on a farm and I always need a bit of a garden around me. My daughter actually owns an acre of land on the island. A perfect home for my statue!

A wonderful story, Darlene. Glad you daughter gave St. Francis a good home. ❤ ❤ ❤
OMG. You won't believe this. I bought the very same statue for my mom years ago. My daughter looked all over to buy one for herself but wasn't successful. When Mom passed away, my daughter put her statue into her own garden. He's over a foot high, maybe 18 inches? Is yours that size?

Another wonderful St. Francis story! Mine is about that size maybe 2 feet tall. So glad your daughter has the statue as a nice reminder of her grandmother. ❤ ❤

Oh yes and then when she couldn’t find one, this all worked out well. 😀

Reblogged this on Michaelphelps1's Blog and commented:

Thanks so much for the reblog.

All the elements of this post are lovely and serene. Ithink sculpture pieces always add a degree of dignity to a garden. I have a little plaque in my garden which reads “Welcome to my Garden” and also a resin sculpture piece of a girl and boy reading. Since they’ve left home, I pretend the children are my son and daughter.

Now – to click on your link!

I nice welcome sign is perfect for a garden. I love that you keep the boy and girl reading as a memento of your children.

Darlene, having made a few trans-Atlantic moves, I can appreciate your moving dilemma. I’m glad to hear that your daughter’s home is now offering a lovely spot for your sentimental piece. And is the cat above yours? He reminds me so much of our Ukrainian foster kitten, Cocoa.

The cat was ours but sadly she passed away a couple of years ago. And yes, Cocoa did remind me of our cat, Pumpkin. I knew you would understand our dilemma. My daughter kindly took a few of my things I couldn´t take but couldn´t get rid of.

Darlene, I am sorry to hear Pumpkin is no longer with you, but happy to know that you are helping the animals of Spain now. 🙂

The sad thing about pets is that they aren´t forever. We have had a total of 5 cats in our 38 years of marriage. (one lived to be 17) This is the first time we have been without a cat in our house.

That is the perfect spot for St. Francis. He’s one of my favorite saints. Lovely pictures of your garden. The only thing I have placed in my garden 12 yrs ago is a 4-sided peace pole that reads “May Peace Prevail on Earth,” in English, Tamil (my son’s native language) Sign Language ( my daughter is hearing impaired) and Spanish.

What a wonderful item to have in your garden made even more special featuring 4 languages. St. Francis is my favourite saint too.

I also love St Teresa of Avila and her mystical work.

Always loved this Saint. He did indeed seem saintly.

Saintly and also so very human.

I enjoyed this story and I thank you for sharing it. Great photos.

Darlene, you’re so brave to be living out your dream. Good on you!!

Glad you enjoyed the story Laura. ❤

Looks like the perfect spot has been found in this very pretty garden.

It is a lovely piece of property on a peaceful island. It is the perfect spot.

I think St Francis would have loved his new home had he been alive today and I am sure he will be feeling very grateful for your thoughtfulness. What a beautiful place! 🙂

I believe you are right, St. Francis would have loved this place.

St. Francis looks so at home in the forest. It would be wonderful to think stories will be told about him in a hundred years. We have a bronze statue of Freya holding a white dove in her outstretched hands – I’ve always loved it. I believe Freya or ‘The Lady’ is associated with love according to Norse mythology. Freya has lived in various gardens of ours for the last 25 years, and I’ve largely ignored the story. I must look it up.

I just looked Freya up. She sounds fascinating. I love stories from the Norse culture. How lovely that you have had her in your gardens all these years.

What a sweet post Darlene – your hunch was correct and St. Francis has found a wonderful new home!

It is just perfect for a special statue. Thanks!!

Thanks for the link and congratulations on the translation of your other (pig) story as well! How nice that your daughter is giving a beloved possession a new home and will love it as you did.

I’m glad we didn’t move. I’m slowly getting more productive, but it would have been much harder if we’d moved on top of everything else! I’m glad you’re enjoying being in Spain, which has been a long time dream of yours.


Thanks Nancy. Our daughters are very kind to us aren´t they. Moving can be very stressful, so I´m glad you decided to stay put. All is as it should be at this time in your life. All the best. ❤

How nice that he found a good place at your daughter’s. I am still busy finding homes for many things that don’t fit into this new house/life. BTW I nominated you for the Five Day Challenge – https://growingyoungereachday.wordpress.com/2015/06/13/six-word-saturday-and-five-day-challenge/. It’s easy and I am sure/hope you will enjoy it.

I am trying very hard to fit things in our much smaller place in Spain. I got rid of so much but still may have brought too much. Thanks for the nomination. ❤

My favorite place to attend writing retreats and silent writing weekends is the Mt. St. Francis Retreat Center in the mountains, Darlene. I have a tiny, intricately carved statue of St. Francis with all the animals, the perfect size for a 4″x6″ garden.
I love your pictures, and all they symbolize.

Where is Mt. St Francis Retreat Centre? It sounds like a perfect place for a writing retreat. Every garden needs a St. Francis, no matter what size. Pleased you like the pictures.

Great post. It’s really neat.

Thought you might like it!

St. Francis looks right at home under the tree.

It is just the perfect home for him!

I think St. Francis has found his ideal resting place under that tree a perfect place for him 🙂

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