Since the first Young Women values garden in 1989, the idea of planting flower gardens symbolizing the seven values outlined in the Young Women theme has flourished to include floral plantings at temples, meetinghouses and individual homes.
Through different colored flowers, the gardens depict the values of faith, divine nature, individual worth, knowledge, choice and accountability, good works and integrity.The first Young Women values garden was planted three years ago in front of the Lion House in Salt Lake City, the site where Brigham Young officially organized the Young Women program in 1869.
When the garden was planted in 1989, the Young Women general presidency encouraged young women throughout the world to plant their own values garden.
Just as flowers need to be planted to grow and develop, values need to be planted in the hearts and minds of young women to become part of daily living, the Young Women general presidency said in a recent Church News interview.
"Flowers are so symbolic of young women," said Ardeth G. Kapp, Young Women general president. "Each flower has its individual beauty, and it's a living, growing symbolism of changing times, changing with seasons.
"When a value becomes a living symbol, the message takes on real meaning," she explained. "There are songs, colored flags and other things, but the reminder of flowers with their natural colors become such a beautiful symbolism of the Young Women values. The unique beauty of each flower is symbolic of the young women."
The seven Young Women values with accompanying colors became part of the Young Women program in 1985. Faith is depicted with white, divine nature is blue, individual worth is red, knowledge is green, choice and accountability is orange, good works is yellow and integrity is purple.
"We hope that when the young women see each color, it will be a reminder of the value that has become important in their lives," Pres. Kapp said. "Young women are experiencing a time in their lives when they are asking questions of identity and Young Women values really address those questions.
Jayne B. Malan, first counselor in the Young Women general presidency, added: "Young women, like flowers, are growing and maturing and moving on. They come in to the Young Women program and we watch them literally blossom, mature and move on. There is a constantly changing, developing feeling of youth that I think these gardens symbolize."
Janette C. Hales, second counselor in the Young Women general presidency, continued: "Each value is important, but it's when they blend together as a whole that they really become significant in our lives.
"Just as flowers are beautiful independently, when we see them blended together in a beautiful design, then it becomes much more impressive. As values come together in a person's life, they come together and create a wholeness."
The focus of the Young Women program is to prepare young women to make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple and enjoy the blessings of exaltation, Sister Malan remarked.
"We are pleased to hear of values gardens at temples because the flowers are a visual reminder to these young women when they come to the house of the Lord. It also gives them a sense of identity with the temple grounds."
At the Toronto Ontario Temple, temple matron Audrey C. Roberts said: "Planting and seeing this beauty generates a pride in the temple. Hopefully a feeling too that will remain and become a desire to labor within."
Young Women in the Toronto, Kitchener, Hamilton, Oshawa and Brampton Ontario stakes began planting a values garden at the temple in 1990, on the north side of the temple. The young women spent a Saturday planting 4,000 white, yellow, orange, red, blue and purple tulip bulbs and daffodils in 12 flower beds.
Then in the spring of 1991, several groups returned to weed and plant annual flowers such as pansies, geraniums, begonias and petunias. Since then they have come to the temple periodically to weed and plant additional flowers.
"When young women come to the temple to do baptisms, they see their gardens and can feel good about their work," remarked Owen McLean, Toronto temple gardener.
"People just love the tulips. It was great to have the help of the young women. It would have taken me a couple months to do all the planting. This has given me a boost of morale to have so many volunteers."
Sheila Graham, stake Young Women president in the Hamilton Ontario Stake, was one of the local Young Women leaders to instigate the values garden at the temple in 1990.
"When the youth come to do baptisms or be with someone being married in the temple and see the tulips all ablaze, hopefully it brings home to them the Young Women values," she remarked. "Part of the Young Women theme is to prepare to make and keep covenants in the temple, so we wanted to look for one more avenue to tie in that theme with the garden."
The values garden outside the Lion House includes seven large pots, each representing a value in its appropriate color. Granite rectangular markers containing each value statement have been replaced with porcelain oval plaques. An oval plaque also identifies the values garden and lists the seven values.
Church gardener Peter Lassig spearheaded the project, and Church gardener, Larry Tavenner, has been responsible for pulling it all together.
In addition to the flowers, the plaques are an important part of the values garden, Brother Lassig explained.
"We needed a graphic image that expresses a contemporary young woman full of innocence, spontaneity and good hope, good wishes and high aspirations. These qualities are inspired by a few words that succinctly deal with the realities of having a good self-image and of having values that will affect a young woman's life.
"The form of the sign, the form of the letters, the form of the flowers have specific meanings," he added. "The form of the sign itself expresses the essence of womanhood – soft and lovely and youthful, unstructured, not hard and willful."
Brother Lassig selected Nancy Lund to do the artwork on the plaques and Joan Larsen to do the lettering.
"It is a thrill to see the total congruity of the signs and flowers and their gentleness," Sister Malan remarked about the values garden. "The plaques blend beautifully with the delicacy of the flowers and the classic beauty of them seems appropriate for the message they carry. We hope many members will bring their non-members friends to look at the garden."
Once the plaques were ready, young women from the Salt Lake Central, Canyon View, Centerville South, Centerville North and Bountiful Heights stakes helped plant the flowers outside the Lion House on March 18.
Cindy Campbell, Young Women president in the Eleventh Ward, Salt Lake Central Stake, reflected on the Young Women values as the garden was planted. "Focusing on the values helps the girls develop some very crucial aspects of their lives," she said. "The strength and balance they gain from working on the values helps them personally and in their service to others."
Suzanne Milburn, a Laurel in the Centerville 14th Ward, Centerville North Stake, said the Young Women values helps her set and attain goals and get involved in community service. "When you achieve a goal, you get a feeling you can't beat and it makes you want to keep setting goals. Being involved in service helped me find out I wanted to be a nurse. I never would have had that opportunity without the values program."
Pres. Kapp concluded: "The values garden is simply a visual representation of what young women are about, conveyed in something that is living and beautiful like young women. And flowers are the best medium for that."
Young Women Values
As young women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, we believe as we come to accept and act upon these values, we will be prepared to make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
I am a daughter of a Heavenly Father who loves me, and I will have faith in His eternal plan, which centers in Jesus Christ, my Savior.
Early Spring: White Grecian Wind Flower and Daffodil Mount Hood
Mid Spring: Tulip White Triumphator and Narcissus Thalia
Spring: White Columbine and Lilly-of-the Valley
Late Spring: White Bleeding Heart and Coral Bells 'White Cloud'
Summer: White Lizianthus and Shasta Daisy Esther Reed
I have inherited divine qualities which I will strive to develop.
Early Spring: Chinodoxia and Hyacinth Perle Brilliante
Mid Spring: Blue English Wood Hyacinths and Forget-me-nots
Spring: Blue Primrose and Ajuga
Late Spring: Larkspur, Delphinium and Blue Peachleaf Campanula
Summer: Campanula Carpatica and Jacob's Ladder
I am of infinite worth with my own divine mission which I will strive to fulfill.
Ealry Spring: Jan Boss Hyacinths
Mid Spring: Tulips; Red Emperor and Oscar
Spring: General Eisenhower Tulip
Late Spring: Rose Chrysler Imperial and Rose Mister Lincoln
Summer: Rhubarb Canada Red, Monarda Cambridge and Geranium Sanquineum
I will continually seek opportunities for learning and growth.
Early Spring: Emerging Green Foliage
Mid spring: Bells of Ireland and Tulip Greenland
Spring: English Ivy and Creeping Jenny
Late Spring: Scotch Moss, Emerging Ferns and Epimedium
Summer: Potentilla Verna and Asparagus Fern
CHOICE AND ACCOUNTABILITY
I will remain free by choosing good over evil and will accept responsibility for my choices.
Early Spring: Pansies; Padparaji, Imperial Orange and Crystal Bowl Orange
Mid Spring: Daffodils; Narcissus Ambergate and Narcissus Tahiti
Spring: Narcissus Geranium
Late Spring: Geum and Corscosmia
Summer: Lilium Superbum and Orange Geranium
I will nurture others and build the kingdom through righteous service.
Early Spring: Yellow Crocus and Daffodils; Narcissus Peeping Tom, Jack Sprat and Tet-a-tete
Mid Spring: Pot of Gold and Tulips; Scheepers and Sweet Harmony
Spring: Yellow Pansies and Yellow Primroses
Late Spring: Lady's Mantle, Yellow Foxglove and Trolius
Summer: Yarrow Moonshine, Coreopsis, Golden Rod and Marigolds
I will have the moral courage to make my actions consistent with my knowledge of right and wrong.
Early Spring: Pansies, Violas and Violets
Mid Spring: Tulips; Atilla, Bacharini and Dorie Overall
Spring: Honesty and Aubrieta
Late Spring: Guinivere Delphinium and Sweet William
Summer: Lobelia Rosamund and Petunia Lavendar Lady