Memory Gardens: An Ongoing Tribute to Loved Ones
Remembering and honoring the passing of a loved one can take on many paths – some people create a photo collage of the person’s life, while others may write in journals, or create poems or even songs. But for those who are more outdoorsy, like to garden, or just want a quiet place to reflect, planting a memorial garden may be the option that works for them.
There’s something that can be very cathartic and peaceful about digging through dirt, planting bulbs, and watering a garden. Perhaps it’s the physicality of it, or maybe it’s just being one with nature for a short while. Either way, it’s something that may do wonders for your soul.
Just follow these steps to create a special place that will provide you comfort and renewal:
HOW TO CREATE YOUR MEMORY GARDEN
Determine the size and location – Think about your yard and which spot may be private or a nice place for you to pay homage to your loved one. How big or small would you like your garden to be? How much time or effort can you manage to maintain it? Don’t have a yard? Create a lovely tabletop or terrace memorial with potted plants and small figurines.
Choose a focal point – What will the center of your garden be? A vibrant, beautiful flower bush? A fountain? Statue? From your center, choose taller plants for the back and smaller ones for up front. Consider which plants or flowers will bloom year round versus seasonally.
Personalize the space – What types of plants or flowers were your loved one’s favorites? Or choose some that were his/her favorite color. Was the person a veteran? Plant a small flag or a marker with their service information. Did they like dogs or cats? Place a small animal statue in your garden. Were they funny? Add something whimsical like a birdhouse or chimes.
NO GREEN THUMB? NO PROBLEM
If you’re just not cut out for gardening but still want to have a place outdoors, consider placing a stone bench an outdoor seating area with an engraved message about your loved one: John Doe (1935-2010) Always in Our Hearts. Or, if you don’t trust yourself to plant something, ask friends to help you, or hire someone.
COMES FROM THE HEART
No matter what type of garden you choose, make it meaningful for you. One that comes from your heart and that it will give you some solace when you are missing that special someone.