How to Create a Memory Garden

A memory or memorial garden can be a thoughtful tribute to someone who has passed away. It can serve as a quiet, reflective place where you can go to be comforted and inspired. Knowing how to create a memory garden can enrich your life and add beauty and meaning to your yard or other special place.


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    Plan your memory garden depending upon location and available space.
    • The commemorative garden can be large or small depending upon the size of your yard or designated space and the amount of work you want to put into it. A corner of your deck or patio could serve as a small memory garden if you don't have a lot of space.
    • Place the garden where it can be seen from a window or covered porch. That way you can enjoy it even during bad weather.
    • Be sure the location you choose will support the types of plants you want to grow. Sun loving plants need 6-8 hours of sun a day while shade lovers need protection from the sun.
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    Decide on the atmosphere you want your memorial garden to have.
    • If you want a quiet place where you can meditate or find peace, use plants with soft colors. Add a soothing water feature and wind chimes.
    • You might want your memory garden to be a place of inspiration and hope. Think about planting brighter colors and adding special statuary. Provide bird or squirrel feeders or bird baths to encourage wildlife to visit.
    • Always provide a place to sit. Benches or chairs will invite you to stay.
    • If you are fortunate to have a special view of a lake, mountains, beach or river, think about locating your memory garden there.
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    Dedicate your memory garden to your loved one by considering his or her personality traits, special interests and accomplishments, or other characteristics so you can personalize it.
    • Use delicate flowers in a small memory garden for a baby or child. Daisies represent innocence and might be a good choice. Add whimsical statues of bunnies or kittens to add to the atmosphere.
    • Honor a veteran by planting flowers in patriotic colors. Add a commemorative plaque or stone.
    • Add statuary and features that represent your loved one's interests. A statue of a dog would honor a dog lover. Use stepping stones with paw prints. Bird baths and bird feeders would be appropriate for someone who loved birds.
    • A small putting green could be used as a memorial garden for an avid golfer. Use dwarf mondo grass to represent a green and make a pea gravel sand trap. Add flowers and plant a colorful shrub or small tree. A water garden might be a good choice for someone who loved the water.
    • Consider using plants that reflect the person's favorite colors. Or use those that have symbolic meanings, such a forget-me-nots for memory and lilies for purity.
    • Use plants that were special to the person you are honoring. If they loved roses, plant those. A special tree or shrub might be appropriate. If the loved one enjoyed a special season more than the others, plant things that are exceptional for that time of year. Use lots of spring bulbs and have a spring flowering shrub or tree if the person loved spring, for instance.
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    Add personal items to make the garden even more special. A quote from the person's favorite poem could be inscribed on a stone or plaque. A photograph sealed in a weather-proofed frame or an original piece of art could be a meaningful addition to your memory garden.

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Categories: Theme and Feature Gardens