Remembrance Gardens

BY: Diane Snyder Cowan
CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

BC-remembrance-gardens-(2).jpgSpring is here and we are provided with an opportunity to spend time outdoors. While grieving the death of your loved one, you may want to consider a gardening project. Working with the earth is a great way to connect with nature, expend energy in a positive way, and create something beautiful.

A remembrance garden is a wonderful tribute for a deceased loved one. It’s an undertaking that can be done individually or by the whole family. The garden becomes a quiet relaxing retreat, a space for reflection and remembering. If you don’t have space for a garden, you can be creative and place plants on a deck, porch patio, balcony or steps.
  • Decide on your budget. This will determine the size and type of garden decor. It can be as small as one bush or tree or as big as a baseball field.
  • Choose plants that are suited to your area. If your area is shady, pick plants that are hardy in the shade. Your local gardening/landscape supplier will be helpful in selecting appropriate plants.
  • Choose plants that have special meaning to your loved one, or that have colors or scents that evoke memories. Certain plants have certain meanings. For example forget- me-nots stand for memories, rosemary means remembrance, daisies suggest innocence.
  • A wooden bench or metal chair strategically placed provides the visitor a place for reflection and comfort.
  • Purchase large river rocks that could be inscribed with your loved one’s name, or collect large stepping stones that can be placed to honor the deceased.
  • If your garden is in a sunny location, consider an arbor covered with climbing vines or roses to provide some shade for the visitor.
  • Water fountains help to create a serene, relaxing and calming atmosphere. There are many to choose from and they vary in shape, materials and sizes.
  • If honoring a music lover, consider wind chimes or tall grasses that create sound when the wind blows.
There are many parallels between grief and gardening. We can learn to take care of ourselves as we take care of our gardens. We gain insight from planting, watering, pruning and watching plants grow. The gardener waits for the beauty of the bloom; the grieving anticipate the return of the beautiful memories.

Visit your remembrance garden often and maintain it with pride. It can bring solace, comfort and a sense of renewal.


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