Design a Memorial Garden - A Beautiful Remembrance

May 18, 2010
When Ellie’s mother passed away, she was living very far away from home and her family.  Although she returned home for her mother’s memorial service, she never felt like she had the opportunity to fully participate in the experience of her mother’s death.  When she returned home, she discovered that she really wanted to find a way to connect with her mother’s spirit.  Ellie remembered that her mother loved to garden and was inspired to create a memorial garden in her backyard in memory of her mother.  Ellie began by selecting her mother’s favorite plant, lavender, and then designed the rest of the garden to compliment this plant.  
You too can create a beautiful memorial to your loved one!  By designating a corner of your yard as a memory garden, you can remember your loved one's spirit throughout each season of the year. Not only is a memory garden a thoughtful way to keep a loved ones' memory alive, but it is also very friendly to the Earth and the environment.  
Here are some suggestions for designing a beautiful memory garden:
Trees: Talk with the staff at your local nursery to incorporate trees that are native to your region.  Did your loved one have a favorite tree?  Then use it as a focal point in your garden planning.
Seats & benches: They can be made from wood, concrete, stone or metal. Choose a design that reflects the individual -- classic, modern or rustic. Maybe build a bench around a favorite tree. You can also create a space within the garden for a table and chairs so you can drink tea or have lunch with them!
Plants: Select a favorite plant of a loved one, or better yet, see if there is something from their yard you can plant in your own yard. Take a cutting from your grandmother's prized rose bush and propagate it in your own yard. Are pine seedlings sprouting beneath a white pine grand dad planted 70 years ago? Did one up and plant it in your own yard.
Art & Monuments: Bronze plaques can be engraved and affixed to a bench or mature trees or mounted on a flat surface of a large rock.  You can also visit your local paint-your-own pottery studio and create an artistic memorial plaque for your garden too!
Water Features: Incorporating water into your garden is calming and reflective. Did your grandfather like to fish?  Install a small pre-fabricated plastic pond with a fountain head in the middle and welcome in a few gold fish. A peaceful (and low-maintenance) installation choice is a bird bath.  Remember, it can be as simple or extravagant as you would like.