Creating a memory garden is a lovely way to honor a loved one … be it a close relative, good friend, or a beloved pet. If you’ve lost someone who’s near and dear to your heart you can create a garden in their memory so you can think of them whenever you’re passing by.
Some things you might want to incorporate into a memory garden, include favorite flowers or shrubs of your special person; items that they adored such as a bird bath or hummingbird feeder for a bird lover; handmade stepping stones or plaques as a tribute … or to recall a treasured saying that reminds you of them.
If you have the room, you might want to include a bench so you can sit in the garden and reflect on all the wonderful memories you have of that person or animal friend. Here are some ideas on creating a memory garden of your own …
Flower and Plant Selection For A Memory Garden
A Memorial Garden is not complete without beautiful flowers. One of the nicest tributes is to include flowers or colors that the deceased loved.
For instance, did your mother love the color purple? Why not plant a lilac bush along with iris, delphinium, phlox, alium, and asters. Mix shrubs, perennials and annuals (if you have the room) for a long-flowering display.
Did your father love red? You might want to plant vibrant red tulips, roses, pentas, begonias and dahlias. Of course, you don’t have to plant a monochromatic garden … just include some of your loved one’s favorite flowers and colors in the mix for more meaning and sentimental value.
Consider the Meaning of Flowers
Below is a list of popular flowers and their meaning. You might want to consider these in your memory garden planning:
Aster – contentment, grace, blessings
Azalea – abundance
Begonia – deep thoughts
Bellflower – thinking of you
Daffodil – resurrection
Daisy – innocence and purity
Forget-me-nots – memories
Fuchsia – harmony, healing for those who grieve, angels
Gardenia – joy
Geranium – comfort
Honeysuckle – devoted affection, bonds of love
Impatiens – patience, steadfastness, loving-kindness
Jasmine – peace, goodwill, and healing
Lavender – devotion
Lily – faith, grace, and spiritual healing
Marigold – pain and grief
Peonies – thoughts of the past, memories, healing
Poppies – eternal sleep, consolation
Pink Rose – admiration / appreciation
Red Rose – passion, true love
Red & White Rose – unity
White Rose – purity
Yellow Rose – friendship
Rosemary – remembrance
Tulips – faith, hope, and charity
Verbena – peace
Violet – faithfulness, quiet joy, tender thoughts
White Lilac – youthful innocence, memories
Zinnia – thoughts of friends
Adding Personal Touches to A Memory Garden
Did your brother love to fish? Did your sister delight in butterflies? Did grandma like to sew? Try and include items that remind you of them when planning your memory garden. That will truly personalize the space and turn it into a meaningful tribute plot.
Some ideas include a brick from their home, a memento from a favorite sports team, shells from a treasured vacation, a statue that looks like their dear canine pal … be creative. When you think of your loved one, what comes to mind?
Wherever a beautiful soul has been there is a trail of beautiful memories.
The Soothing Sound of Water
The peaceful sound of trickling water is naturally relaxing so including a small pond or a fountain in your memory garden will make the space even more tranquil …
Water will also attract a variety of birds which will bring a bit of life and beauty to the garden. Because the area will be a place that you’ll visit when you want to reflect upon your loved one, making this space as uplifting and soothing as possible will help you feel more comfortable.
A Place To Sit and Reflect
During your visits, you or other visitors to your memory garden may want to take a seat and reminisce or pray. Having a weather proof and comfortable place to sit will help the visit feel more pleasant and reflective.
If you want to make the seating extra special, engraving a wood bench with your loved one’s name or attaching a plaque is a great way to make your memorial garden more personalized. When placed among blooming flowers, shrubs or a tree … you’ll always find solace in this peaceful retreat.
Small Space or No Space for a Memorial?
A memory garden can be as simple as a container of your relative’s favorite flowers. A plant added to the garden that reminds you of a cherished pet. A shrub planted that brings back memories and the scent of your grandparent’s house.
If you are renting, plan to move soon, or have very little room in your yard there are other ways to pay tribute to a loved one. You can purchase a memorial brick at a place you used to enjoy with your relative. Plant a tree in their honor at a local arboretum. Place a memory plaque on a bench at a favorite botanical garden …
To Sum Up Creating a Memory Garden
Many people choose to create a memorial garden as a means to honor and remember the life of someone special. It can become an area of quiet meditation and reflection and a source of great comfort.
Deciding on which elements you would like to include within the memory garden will be dependent upon how much space is available. Memorial gardens can be as simple as a few potted plants and accents on an apartment balcony to a more elaborate scale of a backyard garden with water features, a bench, trees, and flowers.
You and your family can also make this an ongoing project where an additional flower or element can be added annually on a date that is significant to the loved one, such as the anniversary of the death, their birthday, or a wedding anniversary.
Discover another memorial garden project … cemeteries need a little gardening love too!
Across the United States, there are thousands of cemeteries, some quite active and others sadly neglected or abandoned. We’ve always felt cemeteries and gardening are kindred spirits – elements of peace, solitude, and respect are present in both …