Consider Planting a Remembrance Garden


BY: Diane Snyder Cowan, MA, MT-BC

CATEGORY: Grief and Loss

Summertime provides us 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. 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.
  • 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. 
  • 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 create a serene, relaxing and calming atmosphere. There are many to choose from and they vary in shape, materials and sizes.
  • Visit your remembrance garden often and maintain it with pride.

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