Memory Garden

sudiepavAugust 23, 2006

Have any of you made a memorial in your garden for someone you loved who died? I'd like to create something for my son and granddaughter that might be a good place to "visit" them. We don't have a gravesite. They were cremated and their ashes were scattered somewhere, but our daughter-in-law didn't want us there, so we have no idea about where the remains went. They may be in Lake Michigan, and I am trying to find out from someone besides her. I thought if we had a spot in our garden, it might seem a good way to feel connected. If you've done this, what did you plant? I have three stepping stones I made of Millie's little hands and feet already in the garden. Thanks in advance.

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That's a lovely idea. I'm so sorry about the heartbreaking loss you've had, your son and granddaughter.

Your garden doesn't have to be a fabulously landscaped design. The important thing is what the garden means to you. If there were any special trees or plants for either of your loved ones, you could incorporate them, if growing conditions allow. I have a shady memorial garden in the corner of our yard. It's mostly fuchsias and begonias. It would be nice to have a comfortable chair in or near the garden, and you can decorate with other meaningful "stuff" in addition to Millie's hands and feet prints. Recently I added two solar lights, and I don't think they are worth much as far as light goes, but they are a nice touch at night.

If you like roses and it would be a sunny spot, there are lots of roses with different names which might be meaningful. Were your son and granddaughter your "Double Delight?" Or maybe "Peace," because that's what you are seeking, right?

You can put in a border of some kind; I just used big rocks. Good luck with your wonderful idea.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 7:26PM
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How sad I am for you. You not only lost your son but you grandaughter too.
I lost my only son about a year ago, he was 31ys old and died in an ATV accident. This whole thing is so hard. I have often thought of a memory garden which I think is a wonderful idea, but I live in Minnesota and here we have more snow than sunshine to grow our gardens, but let me tell you about a gift I recieved when my son died. My husbands cousin sent us a memory stone for our son which I keep in a special place in our home, I look at it many times each day. It is so special to me and my family. It sounds like it would be a perfect thing for your garden.
Bless you and your family.
Check out: http//

    Bookmark   August 23, 2006 at 10:19PM
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A memory garden is just that. What was special for your son as he grew up? Did he have a dog that he loved and spent a lot of time with? I've seen several different statues and I have one of a little boy holding his puppy. Did he participate in sports? Lots of nice statues with a baseball theme. Just so many things you could do.
For your granddaughter, what was special about her. What colors did she like? Maybe a gazing ball or one attached to a cherub, fairy, or other object. What did her personality remind you of?
Perhaps if you made a list of special things, you could design something from that. Then have a bench to just sit and remember with a smile and love how very special those time were and no one can take that away from you.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 9:38PM
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I made a memorial garden under my son's bedroom window. I have some appropriately named hostas (Remember Me, Tiny Tears, Metallica, Drummer Boy, Brian's Angel), a stone that says Mom's Garden, a miniature rose named Brian Lee and a daylily hybridized in his memory, also named Brian Lee.

I had a window box there before we sided the house that read, "If ever an angel heard a mortal's voice, t'would be in a garden in the cool of the evening."

I also have a bench nearby to sit and think and remember.

I hope you can eventually reach an understanding with your DIL, my heart aches hearing the story.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2006 at 7:55PM
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Dian, your garden sounds very, very nice, so meaningful. Good job.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2006 at 6:20PM
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You all have given me such great ideas. This weekend, I'm going to peruse my yard for the right spot. I do have a good spot, but it's so shady, that I think it will limit my plant choices. I have so many gardening catalogues right now, and I think I'll start this fall with some bulb choices and fill in with other significant plants. Didn't realize before that there are so many named varieties of things, and many can be felt as significant. I am also going to find a bench to go there. The suggestions of various statuary sound great. Baseball was such a great part of Dave's life, and I know I've seen various things depicting baseball players, especially kids. I used to have a small garden ornament of a little girl reading; I'll try to find something similar. I also have a brick, a copy of which is at Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati. It reads "In memory of Dave and forever" We see the brick everytime we leave the stadium (as we did last night) and we always say "Bye, guys". Our brick at home most surely should go in this garden. I think this will be a comforting spot to be in and a good project to plan this winter. Thank you everybody. Dian, I surely do wish we could have some contact with our DIL, but she had no use for us before the accident, she's remarried, and I can't imagine that she'd ever have anything to do with us now. After the funeral, I called several times to inquire about her and talked with her parents. Finally, I was told by her stepdad to not get in touch again. How hurt we felt but figured it was her prerogative. Interestingly enough, we've maintained contact with her two sisters. To say she's a piece of work is to be understated. But I can't imagine we'd miss our boy and granddaughter any less were we in contact.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 9:31AM
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Sudiepav, you have a lot of good ideas for your garden, and you don't have to do it all at once. It can be a work in progress. The brick you have is a wonderful start.

Here's a picture of mine, in a shady corner of the yard, from a year ago. I've added some solar lights and a couple decorative signs since then.

Take care.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2006 at 6:37PM
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lots of beautiful ideas & thoughts here.

Water in a garden always seems to lend a contemplative, serene feeling.

A fountain or a birdbath would be nice.

I've seen river rocks with meaningful words painted on them.

The smooth rocks, about 2" or 3" across, may be painted all over or just sprayed with a sealant & then the words are written on them.

things like Love, Grace, Laughter, people's names.
things that'll make you smile when you look at them & remember:
maybe one of yours could say "Play Ball!"

    Bookmark   September 25, 2006 at 4:33PM
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beautiful garden, You guys have inspired me to make my dad a memory garden. I have thought of rosemary for remeberence, forget me nots. oh and I will try to find a rose bush color that was closely resemble a rose in my dad's service.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2006 at 3:46PM
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Hi sudiepav Thanks for your message I answered you on my page please find it ther Im not much of a typist and my essage was a little long. Sandybeaches2006.Dont know you but LOVE YA.

    Bookmark   October 17, 2006 at 11:52PM
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Hi everybody...I'm bringing this up again. I haven't yet started on the garden, but I've picked out the spot and am busy gathering artifacts to put in the garden. We've got a plan drawn out with some plant ideas. One of the reasons I've dragged my feet is that I wanted to look at the spot in all seasons to get an idea of the light available in spring, summer and fall. I also thank you for the suggestion of rockitcreations. I ordered a lovely stone with some lines from one of Millie and Dave's favorite poems. The reason I resurrected this thread again was that we had dinner with some friends last night. The husband has lost 2 of his sons, and Monday is the first anniversary of the youngest boy"s death. Several relatives have asked him what he plans to do on that day. I have always felt that the anniversary of my son's and granddaughter's deaths was a day to get through. I wish I could pull the covers over my head and just erase the day. Their birthdays, while bittersweet, at least give us time to reflect on the good memories. So I called my friend today and told her about my ideas for my garden and thought that might give them something to plan for as well as giving them something to answer to relatives who almost think the day should be commemorated. Every year when that day comes, all I can think about is when my middle son gave us the news, how we broke it to my husband, pictures of the accident, all awful things. I'm hoping that by the date comes around again in June we'll have made headway on our garden.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2008 at 3:56PM
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